Joint Commission, NQF name 3 Eisenberg Patient Safety award winners

The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum announced Tuesday the three winners of the 2016 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards.

The award, named after John M. Eisenberg, MD, the former administrator of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, has been given out since 2002 to recognize people and organizations for their work in patient safety and care quality.

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The awards are given out in three categories: individual achievement, innovation in patient safety and quality on the national level and innovation in patient safety and quality on a local level.

The winners are:

  • Individual achievement — Carolyn Clancy, MD, deputy under secretary in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Dr. Clancy received the award for her career devoted to improving patient safety. She is a former AHRQ director, where she led the development and publication of the agency's annual National healthcare Quality and Disparities reports to Congress. With the VA, she leads the Veterans Health Administration's Office of Organizational Excellence, which is in charge making sure veterans receive quality care with a positive experience.
  • Innovation at the national level — I-PASS Study Group. This patient safety research group based in Boston received the award this year for its work to standardize provider communication and care handoffs. The group's first study found preventable medical errors dropped 30 percent after implementing a handoff bundle. Now, the group, which represents more than 150 people in North America, works with hospitals to implement tools and processes to standardize handoffs.
  • Innovation at the local level — Christiana Care Health System. This Newark, Del.-based health system was recognized for developing a technology-driven care coordination program called Christiana Care Care Link. The program, which includes about 75,000 Medicare and private health plan members, allows a care coordination team to use real-time clinical information from a health information exchange to improve care quality. It led to an increase in patients discharged to the home and a decrease in readmissions.

"Congratulations to Dr. Clancy, the I-PASS Study Group and Christiana Care Health System for their significant and lasting contributions to improve patient safety and quality of care," said Joint Commission President and CEO Mark Chassin, MD. "Through new and innovative projects such as those implemented by these Eisenberg Award recipients, we can make great strides in reducing preventable patient harm and adverse events. Such quality improvement efforts help solve some of health care’s most challenging issues to make a difference in the lives of all patients."

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