New York State Health Department Announces $1.2 Million in Grant Awards as Part of Statewide Patient Safety Initiative


ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, MD, MPH., DrPH, awarded a total of $1.2 million in state grants to six healthcare facilities for their advancement of quality assurance measures and effective clinical practices to ensure that patients have access to high-quality healthcare.


Novello presented awards of $200,000 each to St. Francis Hospital (Dutchess County); St. Mary's Hospital (Montgomery County); Long Island State Veterans Home at Stony Brook University (Suffolk County); Beechwood Continuing Care (Erie County); Madison York Assisted Living (Queens County); and Hudson Headwaters Health Network (Warren County).


"New York's patient safety initiatives and the tremendous commitment made by health care providers across the state build on Governor Pataki's commitment to ensuring New Yorkers access to one of the finest, most advanced health care systems in the world," Novello said. "This funding will help facilities advance programs that are improving patient safety."


The awards represent an important component of New York's comprehensive statewide patient safety initiative to identify adverse incidents involving patients and to promote the development of additional quality assurance measures by hospital's statewide. Since 2000, New York State has dedicated more than $7 million to support patient safety initiatives developed and implemented by healthcare providers statewide.


In addition, as part of his 2005-06 Executive Budget, the governor is proposing a quality initiative that will provide $1 billion for the support of health information technology advances implemented by hospitals that will create a computerized physician ordered entry system to help reduce medical and medication errors, ensure more timely patient test results, and enhance information sharing capabilities among health care providers.


The New York State Patient Safety Awards program recognizes those healthcare facilities that have developed innovative patient safety measures. The healthcare facilities that receive the awards are committed to working with the State Health Department on an ongoing basis to develop and promote ways to further improve patient safety.


The funding will support the following initiatives:


-- St. Francis Hospital, Poughkeepsie: Implemented and enhanced protocols designed to raise awareness and staff accountability to improve the accuracy of patient identification. The protocols emphasize accurate patient identification through required inter-department review and comparison of patient ID bands with the patient census reports to identify patients who did not have ID bracelets or their bracelets contained incorrect information.

St. Mary's Hospital, Amsterdam: An interdisciplinary Quality Improvement Team was convened to assess the entire medication administration process. Multiple decision points and variations between and among units were identified. Adding unit coordinator positions, expanding pharmacy hours, automated dispensing machines and continuous education and reassessment of patients has improved medication management and related services.


-- Long Island State Veteran's Home, Stony Brook: The nursing home undertook an extensive review to accurately identify and address the root causes of falls. By reassessing the incident process the committee was able to completely overhaul the incident reporting system. A daily log for trending causes, staff education, and a new accident reporting form has been implemented as a result. This successful falls prevention program has resulted in a significant reduction in the number or incidents involving resident falls within the home.


-- Beechwood Continuing Care, Getzville: By establishing a Building on Excellence for Quality program the facility has experienced documented and sustained improvements in reducing the incidence of falls and pressure ulcers. The four step program along with consistent leadership and more effective utilization of existing resources have contributed to a major change in current practice. As a result, the quality indicators used to identify and respond to falls and skin ulcers among residents have been refined and strengthened.


-- Madison York Assisted Living, Corona: Implemented a multi-directional strategy for improving medication management that focus on substantially improving the documentation of prescription drugs provided to patients and strengthening incident reporting. This adult care facility focused on improving adherence to the medication management system through training sessions with staff, as well as residents and their families. As a result, systems were refined to better address incidents, patients' refusal to take medication, pharmacy initiated events and discontinuance of medication instructions from outside physicians.


-- Hudson Headwaters Health Network, Glens Falls: By undertaking an extensive analysis of the policies in use at each of the networks 11 facilities, the incident reporting process was found to be cumbersome, confusing and inconsistent. Streamlining the reporting process has strengthened the networks ability to track prescription drugs, as well as prevent the potential for drug diversion and the improper use of medications.


Source: New York State Department of Health

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