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John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards

Congratulations 2023 Awardees

This year’s awardees made advancements related to health care teamwork culture and safety, reduced surgical risk and improved post-surgical outcomes for frail patients, and improved radiation use documentation, decreased high-dose radiation exposure, and improved opioid pill prescribing rates for cardiovascular patients. The awardees are listed below. Additional details on the strategies used and improvements implemented by this year’s recognized initiatives can be found within the awardee summaries.

View the awardees’ full summaries Download the awardees’ full summaries

Individual Achievement
Eduardo Salas, PhD – Rice University

Dr. Eduardo Salas was selected in recognition of his body of work across 40 years designing, developing, and evaluating evidence-based principles and tools to help healthcare organizations create a culture of teamwork and safety. Dr. Salas’ decades of work with the Department of the Navy regarding air crew coordination and teamwork, as well as in other high-risk industries, was foundational to establish core competencies specific to healthcare teams. Dr. Salas was instrumental in the design, development, and delivery of TeamSTEPPSTM - Team Strategies & Tools to Enhance Performance & Patient Safety, which has now been adopted by 70% of U.S. hospitals. The Eisenberg Award panel expressed Dr. Salas’ extremely important and tremendous impact, denoting that the TeamSTEPPS approach and framework were pioneering and revolutionary to how team-based care is provided. The Eisenberg Award panel describes Dr. Salas’ work as “visionary,” “trailblazing,” and “incredibly influential.”

National Level Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality
The Surgical Pause - Veterans Health Administration

The Surgical Pause uses routine screening via the Risk Analysis Index (a bedside frailty assessment that can be completed in 30 seconds without disrupting workflow) to identify 5-10% of the highest risk patients who experience disproportionately high rates of postoperative complications, loss of independence, and mortality. For frail patients, a brief “pause” permits further evaluation to review goals of care and optimize treatment plans. For patients who decide to pursue surgery, multidisciplinary care plans can be tailored to mitigate frailty-associated risks prior to surgery through prehabilitative interventions such as nutritional supplementation, preoperative exercise to improve physical condition and respiratory function, and tailored surgical care (i.e., use of narcotic-sparing regional anesthetics during surgery), and systematic delirium assessment during recovery. Prehabilitative interventions shift the paradigm and effort from focusing on rescuing patients with postoperative complications to strengthening frail patients and mitigating potential complications before they happen. The Eisenberg Award panel was impressed by the simplicity and effectiveness of the Risk Analysis Index to permit clinicians to quickly screen patients, and they noted that the Surgical Pause’s overall methodological approach and implementation strategy makes it accessible and replicable by a wide variety of settings and facilities.

Local Level Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality
Creating a culture of quality for cardiovascular care in Michigan – BMC2

BMC2 (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Cardiovascular Consortium) is a state-wide quality improvement collaborative that develops and administers a portfolio of quality improvement interventions for patients who undergo percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI), vascular surgical procedures, and transcatheter valve procedures in Michigan. Facilities contribute procedural and outcome data to registries, which are aggregated into hospital and physician-level reports and benchmarked to statewide performance. BMC2 is recognized for its improvements in the documentation of radiation use, a decrease in high-dose radiation exposure, and opioid pill prescribing rates. The panel noted that this kind of collaborative, best-practice approach improved outcomes, reduced costs, and could be replicated by other states. The panel was inspired by BMC2’s inclusive scope across so many clinicians, physicians, teams, and sites, acknowledging the collaborative is “working to improve care, at every institution, and for every patient. It's remarkable.”

2023 Eisenberg Award Top Finalists and All Applicants

The Joint 91㽶Ƶ and the National Quality Forum also recognize these organizations that were the Top Finalists considered by the award panel for the National and Local categories for 2023 and all organizations that submitted applications.

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About the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards

The John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards recognize major achievements by individuals and organizations to improve patient safety and health care quality.

John M. Eisenberg

Each year, the National Quality Forum (NQF) and the Joint 91㽶Ƶ recognize the best examples of individual, local, and national efforts to improve patient safety and health care quality through the prestigious Eisenberg Awards. These awards bring the quality community together to honor groundbreaking initiatives that are consistent with the aims of the National Quality Strategy: better care, healthy people and communities, and smarter spending.

Launched in 2002, the awards honor the late John M. Eisenberg, MD, MBA, former administrator of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. An impassioned advocate for health care quality improvement, Dr. Eisenberg was a founding member of NQF’s board of directors.

Awards are presented in three categories:

  • Individual Achievement – Individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and scholarship in patient safety and health care quality through a substantive body of work
  • National Level Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality – The focus of the project or initiative extends beyond local areas to being implemented across the country to achieve national impact. Original projects or initiatives involving successful system changes or interventions that make the environment of care safer, or that advocate on the patient’s behalf.  These innovative projects or initiatives may address new technologies, protocols and procedures, education, organization culture, legislation, the media, patient advocacy, systems theory, etc.
  • Local Level Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality – The project or initiative focuses on effecting impact at the local community, organization or regional level (e.g., statewide). Original projects or initiatives involving successful system changes or interventions that make the environment of care safer, or that advocate on the patient’s behalf.  These innovative projects or initiatives may address new technologies, protocols and procedures, education, organization culture, legislation, the media, patient advocacy, and systems theory, among other areas.
 

Eisenberg Award Panel

A diverse panel of national patient safety and quality experts has been assembled to review the submitted applications and select the award recipients.

Eisenberg Award panel list

Previous Eisenberg Recipients

Past award winners have implemented highly effective programs to advance quality and patient safety, including initiatives to improve care coordination and substantially reduce hospital readmission rates, achieve significant decreases in hospital-acquired infections, and create robust cultures and systems of safety.

Previous Eisenberg Award Recipients Previous Eisenberg Award Recipients

 

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