2013 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award Recipients Announced 

JAN 22, 2014

CONTACT: Erin Reese, NQF

2013 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award Recipients Announced
Awards to be presented at the 2014 NQF Annual Conference and Membership Meeting

Washington, DC
— The National Quality Forum (NQF) and The Joint Commission today announced the 2013 recipients of the annual John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards. The four awards will be presented on February 13, 2014 during a luncheon at the 2014 NQF Annual Conference and Membership Meeting in Washington, DC.

The 2013 winners represent numerous achievements in the field of patient safety and quality, including: prevention of more than 5,400 readmissions; system-wide engagement to reduce medical errors; an adverse patient-safety event that catalyzed an important and successful quality transformation; and an individuals’ lifetime achievement in the field of patient safety and quality.

The patient safety awards program, launched in 2002 by NQF and The Joint Commission, honors John M. Eisenberg, M.D., M.B.A., former administrator of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Dr. 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 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 four honorees for national, local-level, and individual recognition are:

Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the National Level – Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, Bloomington, MN; Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul, MN; and Stratis Health, Bloomington, MN
The Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, Minnesota Hospital Association, and Stratis Health are recognized for their Reducing Avoidable Readmissions Effectively (RARE) Campaign. The RARE Campaign is a large-scale healthcare change initiative that is engaging hospitals and care providers in Minnesota across the continuum of care to prevent 6,000 avoidable readmissions, help people sleep in their own beds instead of the hospital, and save millions of dollars in healthcare expenses. The 82 hospitals participating in the RARE campaign account for more than 85 percent of the annual statewide hospital readmissions and to date have prevented 5,441 readmissions over a two-year period. Participating hospitals receive intensive support including technical assistance and best practice tools to aid in redesigning their care processes to achieve readmission reduction goals.

Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the National Level - Anthem Blue Cross, Woodland Hills, CA; National Health Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; Hospital Association of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA; Hospital Association of San Diego & Imperial Counties, San Diego, CA; and the Hospital Council of Northern & Central California, Sacramento, CA
Anthem Blue Cross, the National Health Foundation, the Hospital Association of Southern California, the Hospital Association of San Diego & Imperial Counties, and the Hospital Council of Northern & Central California are recognized for their initiative “Patient Safety First…a California Partnership for Health.” Launched in 2010, the initiative united key stakeholders from different geographic regions within the state to improve quality of care provided to Californians, save lives by targeting zero avoidable medical errors, and reduce healthcare costs to allow for reinvestment into the system. Anthem Blue Cross contributed $6 million over three years to support this initiative, collaborating with three regional hospital associations representing 95 percent of all California hospitals and the National Health Foundation. The goals of the initiative included driving improvement in perinatal care, sepsis, and hospital acquired infections. The initiative leveraged peer‐to‐peer regional learning networks to accelerate adoption of best practices and strategies for improvement. Phase one results showed that 182 hospitals were engaged, and more than 3,500 lives and $63 million have been saved. Building upon phase one successes, Anthem Blue Cross invested another $1.8 million to roll out phase two of the collaborative in 2013.

Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the Local Level - Vidant Health, Greenville, NC
Vidant Health is recognized for their system-wide quality transformation focused on patient safety training following a serious blood event that resulted in a patient death in 2006. In response to this incident, Vidant Health outlined a series of interventions to improve patient safety that included board literacy in quality, an aggressive transparency policy, patient-family partnerships, and leader and physician engagement. Implementation of specific tactics associated with each approach occurred in the ensuing years. The transformation of the system has resulted in: an 83% reduction in serious safety events, 62% reduction in hospital acquired infections, 98% optimal care in the CMS “core measures,” HCAHPS performance in the top 20%, and more than 150 patient advisors partnering with leaders, physicians, and front line staff in safety and quality work. From the bedside to the board room the improvement in quality is evident across Vidant Health’s nine hospitals, 70 physician practices, and ambulatory surgery and home health/hospice services.

Individual Achievement - Gail L. Warden, President Emeritus of Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI
Mr. Warden is recognized for his continued work to improve and assure the well-being of hospitalized patients. As President and CEO, he oversaw the creation of the Henry Ford Health System, now the second largest health system in Michigan and an institution nationally known for its quality patient care, bench-to-bedside research and outstanding education program. Among his many notable accomplishments, he served on an Institute of Medicine committee that issued two groundbreaking reports that prompted healthcare organizations nationwide to identify and fix medical errors to minimize patient risk, and strive to achieve "perfect" health care. He has been named as one of the top 25 most influential individuals in the industry over the past 25 years and also as one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare in 2001 and 2002, respectively. Through this work, and his vision of what would be needed to build systems capable of delivering safer care, he has helped to broadly enhance and raise the quality of patient care through outside affiliations and public service.

“The achievements of this year’s Eisenberg Award recipients are exemplary,” says Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president and CEO, The Joint Commission. “Their tireless dedication to making their organizations and the healthcare industry safer for patients, saving lives, and decreasing costs deserves to be applauded.”

“We congratulate this year’s Eisenberg Award recipients for the tremendous strides they have taken toward improving the patient experience by making care safer,” said Christine Cassel, MD, president and CEO of NQF. “Our winners exemplify the nation's quality movement and underscore the vital importance of our work at the National Quality Forum to foster the best thinking to improve healthcare quality and patient safety through measurement.”

The awards will be presented at NQF’s 2014 Annual Conference on February 13-14, 2014, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park hotel. Titled “Making Sense of Quality Data for Patients, Providers, and Payers,” conference sessions will address the importance of quality measures for improving our healthcare systems, ways to make healthcare quality information meaningful to patients and consumers, and how to empower patients and consumers to make better decisions about their care. The NQF annual conference brings together more than 400 healthcare professionals, quality experts, and member organization executives and staff from across the United States, all of whom are dedicated to driving quality improvement within our healthcare system. A detailed agenda and additional information about the event, including registration, is available online and at www.qualityforum.org.

The May 2014 issue of “The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety” also will feature the achievements of each of the award recipients.


About the National Quality Forum:
The National Quality Forum leads collaboration across the nation to improve health and healthcare quality through measurement. Learn more at: www.qualityforum.org 

About The Joint Commission:
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,300 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,500 other health care organizations that provide nursing and rehabilitation center care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission currently certifies more than 2,000 disease-specific care programs, focused on the care of patients with chronic illnesses such as stroke, joint replacement, stroke rehabilitation, heart failure and many others. The Joint Commission also provides health care staffing services certification for more than 750 staffing offices. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.