2012 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award Recipients Announced


The National Quality Forum (NQF) and The Joint Commission today announced the 2012 recipients of the annual John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards. The awards will be presented on March 8, 2013 during a luncheon at the 2013 NQF Annual Conference and Membership Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The patient safety awards program, launched in 2002 by NQF and The Joint Commission, honors John M. Eisenberg, MD, MBA, former administrator of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Eisenberg was also a member of the founding Board of Directors of NQF. In his roles both as AHRQ administrator and chair of the federal governments Quality Interagency Coordination Task Force, he was a passionate advocate for patient safety and health care quality and personally led AHRQs grant program to support patient safety research.

The honorees, selected in two award categories, are:

Individual Achievement
Saul N. Weingart, MD, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston

Weingart is recognized for his longstanding commitment and national contributions to patient safety through publication, education, research and leadership.  Examples of his many accomplishments include creation of the Harvard Executive Sessions on Medical Error, one of which led to passage of the Minnesota Adverse Event Reporting Law of 2003; extensive research in understanding the role that patients and families can play in advancing patient  safety; leading multiple operational improvement projects including implementation of medication best practices across a six hospital network; development of one of the earliest medication reconciliation programs; development of a web portal-based incident reporting system for patients; and development of novel curricula in patient safety and online patient safety courses.

Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the National Level two recipients

Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif.

Kaiser Permanente is recognized for the pioneering innovations of their implant registries, which have shown unsurpassed and proven benefits for patient safety, quality, outcomes, and cost effectiveness in their integrated healthcare system. The registries have successfully leveraged administrative databases, electronic health records and vast experience in patient care to create robust national orthopedic, cardiology and vascular registries that provide current and clinically relevant information about post-market medical device surveillance and surgical outcomes. The fundamental objectives of these registries are: to improve the quality of care provided to health plan members through the use of integrated data systems and advanced statistical analyses to monitor patient outcomes; to evaluate new and established medical device technologies; and to identify and facilitate implementation of clinical best practices. These registries are models of seamless integration across medical centers in nine states and represent unprecedented partnerships among health plan administrators, hospitals and physician medical groups.

Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Houston, Texas

Memorial Hermann Healthcare System is recognized for their High Reliability Journey from Board to Bedside initiative. This initiative focuses on providing compassionate, operationally and financially efficient care by concentrating leadership and employee attention on high-reliability behaviors, evidence-based care and harm prevention across 12 hospitals, 19 ambulatory surgery centers, clinics and other ambulatory care locations. Memorial Hermanns approach focuses on an aligned accountability structure, robust process improvement, and continuous reinforcement of the cultural transformation. To accomplish this, a high-level outcome focus is established by leadership (i.e., the board and senior management) and then cascading management systems and reporting processes ensure that those closest to the patients bedside design and implement the performance improvement process. Process measures and outcomes are tied to metric-based goals; the results are reported and compared to goals on a monthly basis. Goals are set at 100% for quality measure performance and 0% for preventable harm incidents.  Successes in preventing harm are celebrated through presentation of the Memorial Hermann High Reliability Certified Zero Award which recognizes an organization who has not had any occurrences of hospital acquired infections, hospital acquired conditions, or serious safety events for one year.  Since 2011, 78 Memorial Hermann High Reliability Certified Zero awards have been presented.

No award will be presented in the Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the Local Level category for 2012. 
I congratulate all three recipients for their commitment to safe and high quality healthcare, says Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president of the Joint Commission.  With organizations like Kaiser and Memorial Hermann and individuals such as Dr. Weingart leading the way we are slowly but surely seeing the transformation of the American healthcare system to one where more and more organizations are making dramatic progress toward the ultimate goal of zero patient harm.

The Eisenberg Awards serve as an important reminder of what health care should strive to be at all times safe, effective, and focused on providing patient-centered care, says Gerald Shea, interim president and CEO, NQF.  We congratulate this years recipients for their continued contributions in the field and for the impact their successes will continue to have on raising the standard of care in our nation.

This year's NQF conference is focused on the theme, The Next Decade of Performance Measurement:  Meeting the Needs of a Rapidly Changing Healthcare System. Ten years ago, NQF endorsed its first voluntary, national consensus performance measure to answer the call for standardized measurement of health care services. This first measures were a stepping-stone for creating a consensus-driven effort that bridged nearly every interested party in health care. The ten-year result of this national experiment is a portfolio of over 700 NQF-endorsed measures most of which are in use; a more information-rich healthcare system; and an enormous emerging body of knowledge about measure development, measure use, and quality improvement. The conference will focus on future needs, and how measurement is adapting to meet them. A detailed agenda and additional information about the event, including registration, is available online at www.qualityforum.org.

The June 2013 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety also will feature the achievements of each of the award recipients.

Source: National Quality Forum, Joint Commission

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