With Joint Commission, award recognizes innovative approaches to care improvement

NQF names best for quality and safety

By Mike Miliard
07:42 AM
NQF names best for quality and safety

The National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission have announced the 2013 recipients of the annual John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards.

This year's class will be honored for achievements such as prevention of more than 5,400 readmissions; a system-wide initiative to reduce medical errors; an adverse patient-safety event that catalyzed successful quality transformation; and one individuals' lifetime achievement in the field of patient safety and quality.

The four awards will be presented on Feb. 13, 2014, during a luncheon at the 2014 NQF Annual Conference and Membership Meeting in Washington.

[See also: Joint Commission releases its annual list of top performing hospitals.]

Launched in 2002 by NQF and The Joint Commission, the patient safety awards program honors John M. Eisenberg, MD, former administrator of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and former member of the founding board of directors of NQF.

The four honorees are:

Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the National Level
Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement in Bloomington, Minn., Minnesota Hospital Association in St. Paul, Minn., and Stratis Health in Bloomington, Minn.

The Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement was recognized for its Reducing Avoidable Readmissions Effectively Campaign. The RARE Campaign is a large-scale healthcare change initiative 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 in Woodland Hills, Calif., National Health Foundation in Los Angeles, Hospital Association of Southern California in Los Angeles, Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties in San Diego and the Hospital Council of Northern & Central California in Sacramento, Calif.

These organizations were recognized for their initiative, Patient Safety First ... a California Partnership for Health. Launched in 2010, it convened stakeholders from different geographic regions across the Golden 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 the initiative, collaborating with three regional hospital associations representing 95 percent of all California hospitals and the National Health Foundation.

Its goals 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. Initial results showed that 182 hospitals were engaged, and more than 3,500 lives and $63 million have been saved. Building upon these successes, Anthem invested another $1.8 million to roll out the next phase of the collaborative in 2013.