NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Wins Prestigious Award for Exemplary Patient Safety and Quality

Mar 29, 2012


NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's distinguished record in patient safety and quality received a pivotal boost this month when the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission named the Hospital a winner of their prestigious John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award.

The Eisenberg Award recognizes major achievements of individuals and organizations in improving patient safety and health care quality, consistent with the aims of the National Quality Strategy — better care, healthy people and communities and affordable care. Better care in particular focuses on improving overall quality by making health care patient-centered, reliable, accessible and safe. The honorees of the annual award are selected in three categories and hail from all corners of the United States. The award will be presented April 5 at the Forum's annual conference and membership meeting in Washington, D.C.

The National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission recognized NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for its Housestaff Quality Council, which since its inception in 2008 has promoted greater housestaff participation in quality and patient safety initiatives by partnering with key constituencies to ensure that processes and systems are in place to avoid medical errors. This collaboration produced staggering results, including more than 90 percent compliance with medication reconciliation and a 70 percent reduction in the use of paper in laboratory orders in favor of electronic orders.

"Everything we do at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital supports our core mission of putting patients first, and our highest priority is providing the safest and highest quality care. This group of multidisciplinary, innovative and pro-active residents has been integral to the Hospital's quality and patient safety initiatives," says Steven J. Corwin, M.D., chief executive officer of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. "The Housestaff Quality Council has proven to be a prime example of how engaged clinicians help the Hospital to fully understand and address quality and safety challenges."

"NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital has continued to make significant progress in our quality and patient safety efforts. This would not have been possible without our outstanding residents and the culture of teamwork that has become embedded in our institution and fostered by the Housestaff Quality Council," Dr. Corwin adds. "The Council is emblematic of how we can successfully collaborate with multiple disciplines to deliver the safest and most compassionate care, and the best outcomes for our patients and their families."

The National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission launched the annual patient safety awards program in 2002 to honor Dr. John M. Eisenberg, a founding leader of the Forum who sat on its Board of Directors. Dr. Eisenberg, a former administrator for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the lead federal agency charged with improving the quality, safety, efficiency and effectiveness of health care for Americans, was a passionate advocate for patient safety and health care quality, as well as its corresponding research.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is one of four John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award recipients for 2011. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine from the University of Texas, the Society of Hospital Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa., and the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Mich., were also honored by the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission.

"The Eisenberg Award recipients provide inspiration in national efforts to create a highly reliable health care system," says Dr. Mark R. Chassin, president of The Joint Commission. "We applaud their commitment and their courage in making health care safer."

"This year's recipients truly exemplify the spirit of this award program," says Dr. Janet Corrigan, president and CEO of the National Quality Forum. "Their innovative contributions to healthcare quality and safety will have a lasting impact. These efforts save lives, inspire leadership and serve as a beacon to other learning organizations that want to deliver safe, effective care 100 percent of the time."

The Housestaff Quality Council was established at NewYork-Presbyterian through collaboration between its housestaff, the Department of Anesthesiology, the Division of Quality and Patient Safety, the Office of Graduate Medical Education and senior hospital administration to create a culture that promotes greater housestaff participation in quality and patient safety initiatives. The Council's members represent a cross section of the Hospital community whose goal is to engage housestaff in quality improvement, share critical information and enforce policy changes.

This Council is but one of the Hospital's initiatives to positively impact patient care and safety. Four years ago, the Hospital established Patient Safety Fridays, a program believed to be the first of its kind in the United States, to help ensure the highest degree of quality and safety for patients. Every Friday morning, more than 500 staff members — including physicians and managers representing all clinical and non-clinical areas — assemble simultaneously on the Hospital's five campuses and are presented with clinical information on both clinical and non-clinical patient safety goals. They then divide into teams and walk through the Hospital to check on a wide variety of essential quality and safety issues, including medication labeling, waste handling, equipment inspection and patient confidentiality. The program has made measurable progress, reflected in patient and employee satisfaction surveys, which are currently among the best for any hospital in the nation.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is the nation's largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,409 beds. The Hospital has nearly 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits in a year, including 12,797 deliveries and 195,294 visits to its emergency departments. NewYork-Presbyterian's 6,144 affiliated physicians and 19,376 staff provide state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division. One of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation's leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. For more information, visit

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