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John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award Recipients Announced

Awards to be Presented at National Quality Forum’s 2017 Annual Conference

April 4, 2017
By: Elizabeth Eaken Zhani, Media Relations Manager, The Joint Commission

Sofia Kosmetatos, Media Relations and Online Communications Director
NQF Communications

View the multimedia news release

(PENTAGON CITY, Virginia – April 4, 2017) – A U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) deputy under secretary, a Boston-based patient safety research group and a Delaware health system have been named recipients of the 2016 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards, presented annually by The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum (NQF). The awards will be presented this evening during NQF’s 2017 Annual Conference in Pentagon City, Virginia.

The patient safety awards program, launched in 2002, honors the late John M. Eisenberg, MD, MBA, former administrator of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). An impassioned advocate for health care quality improvement, Eisenberg was a member of NQF’s founding board of directors, chaired the federal government’s Quality Interagency Coordination Task Force and personally led AHRQ’s grant program to support patient safety research.

The honorees for individual, national and local recognition for their work in the field of patient safety and quality of care are:

  • Individual Achievement: Carolyn Clancy, MD, deputy under secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, D.C.
  • Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the National Level: I-PASS Study Group
  • Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the Local Level: Christiana Care Health System, Wilmington, Delaware

Dr. Clancy is honored for her passion and impact on patient safety and quality of care. Throughout her career, she has empowered patients and their families to make informed decisions about their own health care. As Dr. Eisenberg’s immediate successor as director of AHRQ, she led dramatic changes in quality improvement efforts including the development and publication of AHRQ’s annual National Healthcare Quality and Disparities reports to Congress. She also has significantly impacted the development and dissemination of practical patient safety and quality improvement tools used across the nation. In her current role, Dr. Clancy leads the Veterans Health Administration’s Office of Organizational Excellence, which is charged with assuring quality, safety and integrity as well as improving veterans’ experience with VA care.

The I-PASS Study Group, representing more than 150 individuals from across North America, is recognized for its national work to improve patient safety by standardizing provider communication and handoffs of care. The group’s initial research study found that across nine hospitals, harmful medical errors (preventable adverse events) fell 30 percent following implementation of the I-PASS handoff bundle. From this foundation, the group expanded its work to involve nurses and physicians from across specialties in more than 50 hospitals nationwide. And, through the newly formed I-PASS Institute, the study group has developed a series of tools and processes to work with hospitals to achieve institution-wide implementations of the program.

Christiana Care Health System is recognized for the development of Christiana Care Care Link, an innovative, technology-driven, care coordination program that serves nearly 75,000 Medicare beneficiaries and health plan members in the greater Delaware region. Using real-time clinical information from the regional health information exchange, along with other health information and claims data, an interdisciplinary care coordination team works closely with primary care providers and patients to improve safety, quality of care, cost and outcomes. Results include a 30 percent increase in the number of patients discharged to their homes with self-care or with home health care after elective joint replacement surgery, and a 62 percent reduction in the number of patients transferred to skilled nursing facilities after total joint replacement surgery. There also was a 30 percent reduction in readmissions after 90 days.

“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 Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president and CEO, The Joint Commission. “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.”

“The Eisenberg Award winners represent some of the best examples in the nation of how individuals and organizations are transforming care delivery, and making it safer and more effective,” said Shantanu Agrawal, MD, MPhil, president and CEO, National Quality Forum. “Quality measurement is foundational to the achievements we are celebrating today. Without quality measurement, it would be impossible to know whether patients and consumers are benefitting from better care, or whether we are succeeding in reducing costs.”

The achievements of each award recipient will be featured in the July 2017 issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.


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