2014 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award Recipients are Announced

The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum (NQF) have announced the 2014 recipients of the annual John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards. For 2014, three recipients have been selected in three categories. The awards will be presented March 23, 2015 at the NQF Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

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

The three honorees for national, local and individual recognition represent numerous achievements in the field of patient safety and quality. They are:

Individual Achievement – Mark L. Graber, MD, FACP, senior fellow, Health Care Quality and Outcomes Program, RTI International
Graber is recognized as a leader in bringing the role of diagnostic error to the forefront of the patient safety movement. He convened the Diagnostic Error in Medicine conference series, formed the nonprofit Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine and in 2014 founded a new international journal, Diagnosis. He also petitioned the Institute of Medicine to examine the problem of diagnostic error and its report on the issue is expected to be released this fall. Graber’s research studies and writings on diagnostic error are regarded as the foundation for the growing interest in improving diagnosis which will require partnerships and collaboration between providers, health care organizations and patients. He is the co-creator of Patient Safety Awareness Week, which emphasizes patient safety through celebrating achievements at the local level and providing education and awareness.

Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the National Level – American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program
The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) is a nationally validated, risk-adjusted, outcomes-based program designed to measure and improve the quality of surgical care in participating hospitals. The program employs prospective, peer-controlled, validated clinical data collection to quantify 30-day surgical outcomes and allows comparisons of outcomes among all participating hospitals.  NSQIP has been in existence for more than 10 years, and its data have been used in more than 600 peer-reviewed articles, many of them highlighting how NSQIP has reduced surgical complications, improved surgical outcomes, reduced costs and saved lives. The ACS also disseminates a number of improvement tools, including best practice case studies from NSQIP hospitals and the ACS NSQIP Risk Calculator.

Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the Local Level – North Shore-LIJ Health System for its work on reducing sepsis mortality
From 2009 to 2014, North Shore-LIJ Health System implemented a system-wide initiative to reduce sepsis mortality. The organization was able to reduce sepsis mortality by 50 percent at 10 acute care hospitals in its system, including the emergency departments, inpatient and pediatric settings. To achieve this reduction, the system reduced variation in practice and implemented evidence-based best practices and protocols.     

“On behalf of The Joint Commission, I extend our sincere gratitude and admiration to Dr. Graber, to everyone who has been part of the American College of Surgeons NSQIP program, and to the team at North Shore-LIJ Health System for their significant contributions to improving patient safety. The collective impact of their work is remarkable, because their work has likely impacted an incalculable number of patients by preventing harms across a wide spectrum of different clinical conditions and circumstances,” says Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president and CEO of the Joint Commission. “The leadership and dedication they’ve shown to improving patient safety is truly something to be proud of.”

“The National Quality Forum applauds each of the 2014 John Eisenberg award winners for their exemplary efforts to improve the safety, quality and value of the health care experience for patients across the country,” says Christine K. Cassel, MD, president and CEO of the National Quality Forum. “The work of Dr. Graber, the American College of Surgeons and North Shore-LIJ Health System are an inspiration to the quality field as we work together on our universal goal of ensuring that all patients receive the high quality, safe care they need and deserve.”

Source: Joint Commission