Patient Safety and Quality Award Recipients Announced

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The National Quality Forum (NQF) and The Joint Commission today announced the 2010 recipients of the annual John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards. Honorees were selected in three award categories. 


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).  Dr. Eisenberg was one of the founding leaders of NQF and sat on its board of directors. In his roles both as AHRQ administrator and chair of the federal governments Quality Inter-Agency Coordination Task Force, he was a passionate advocate for patient safety and healthcare quality and personally led AHRQs grant program to support patient safety research.

The honorees, by award category, are:


-- John H. Eichhorn, MD, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky.

His contributions have led to dramatic and sustained reductions in catastrophic intra-operative anesthesia accidents, as well as improved anesthesia patient safety and quality of care overall.   Eichhorn is being recognized for his work in improving the quality of anesthesia care and patient safety through the development and application of practice standards and protocols.-- James L. Reinertsen, MD, The Reinertsen Group, Alta, Wyo.

Reinertsen is being recognized for his life-long leadership in improving healthcare quality and safety in medical groups, hospitals and health systems. His teaching and guidance have stimulated the leaders of scores of health systems in the United States, Canada, and Europe to achieve and sustain dramatic improvements in mortality rates, nosocomial infections, serious harm events, and other important measures of safety.


Washington State Hospital Association, Seattle, Washington

The program focuses on standardizing safety practices, preventing infections, improving hand hygiene, increasing staff influenza immunizations, creating rapid response teams, enhancing board leadership, and engaging patients and families in ensuring safe care and reducing readmissions.  This organization is being recognized for its Safe Tables Learning Collaborative program, which provides the fundamental infrastructure for Washington hospitals to share their experiences and learn from each other and from patient safety experts at the local and national levels. 




-- The Childrens Hospital at Providence Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Anchorage, Alaska The organization achieved and sustained success through implementing best practices in conjunction with using clinical microsystems principles and creating a learning culture within the context of clinical practice.  Improvement was accomplished incrementally over several years beginning with the elimination of CRBSI associated with umbilical catheters in 2007, peripherally inserted catheters in 2008, and surgically placed catheters in 2009. This organization is being recognized for its multi-year quality improvement project to eliminate catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI) in the neonatal intensive care unit.The innovative and exemplary work of these individuals and healthcare organizations hopefully will not only inform, but also inspire others to become champions of patient safety and quality improvement. Their achievements make it clear that substantial improvements can be made in patient safety, says Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president of the Joint Commission. We applaud their commitment and courage in pursuing changes that have improved the lives of many. This years recipients have all made significant contributions to improving patient safety and the quality of health care, says Janet Corrigan, PhD, MBA, president and CEO of the NQF.  As organizations and as individuals, they have challenged the status quo and achieved meaningful results that can be replicated not just in the United States but around the world. This years awards will be presented Feb. 25, 2011 at NQFs Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. An early 2011 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety also will feature the achievements of each of the award recipients.