Pulse: NPSF Honors National Leaders with Awards at Patient Safety Congress


NPSF Honors National Leaders with Awards at Patient Safety Congress
The National Patient Safety Foundation honored individuals and organizations with awards during the organization’s annual Patient Safety Congress in Orlando, May 18–19.

2010 NPSF Chairman’s Medal
Jonathan Perlin, Hospital Corporation of America

The National Patient Safety Foundation has awarded the 2010 NPSF Chairman’s Medal to Jonathan B. Perlin, president, clinical services, and chief medical officer at the Hospital Corporation of America.

The NPSF Chairman’s Medal is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated an ability to inspire, lead change for safer health care, and create a culture of respect, learning, and positive team dynamics — all while delivering meaningful and measureable results.
With strategic vision, Dr. Perlin epitomizes effective and inspirational leadership in improving patient safety. His efforts to create system-level change at the Hospital Corporation of America have resulted in significant successes — most notably his work to accelerate eradication of healthcare-associated infections and orchestrate HCA teams to reduce the prevalence of healthcare-acquired influenza. Under Dr. Perlin’s direction, HCA developed the HCA MRSA “ABC” Campaign, an education and awareness-building movement deployed nationally through all HCA facilities in an effort to reduce MRSA infections. Since its launch, the program has produced outstanding results, including a 35 percent decrease in HA-MRSA central-line-related blood stream infections and a 52 percent decrease in ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Dr. Perlin also spearheaded a bold, comprehensive strategy to prevent patients from contracting influenza by directing HCA’s institutions into a mandatory program requiring flu vaccination or masks in patient care areas for all healthcare workers. As a leader in the mandatory vaccination movement, this step set an unprecedented standard for patient and hospital-worker safety.

Dr. Perlin uses forward-thinking vision, tireless advocacy, and an outstanding ability to foster collaboration and teamwork to bring together many talented professionals and motivate them to work jointly toward a common goal, and the results under his leadership have been extraordinary. “Because of Jonathan Perlin, patients benefit from an ever-increasing standard for safety, and HCA employees are recognized as a nationwide team that prevents avoidable harm,” said Diane Pinakiewicz, president of the National Patient Safety Foundation. “It is a true honor to present Dr. Perlin with the 2010 NPSF Chairman’s Medal.”

With a remarkable career rich with accomplishments, Dr. Perlin is recognized as one of the 10 most influential physician executives in the United States by Modern Healthcare. Prior to joining HCA, Dr. Perlin was Under Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He has served on boards and commissions for the National Quality Forum, the Joint Commission, the National eHealth Collaborative, and chairs the HHS Health IT Standards Committee.

NPSF 2010 Stand Up for Patient Safety Management Award
Virginia Mason Medical Center

The National Patient Safety Foundation has presented the 2010 NPSF Stand Up for Patient Safety Management Award to Virginia Mason Medical Center of Seattle, Washington.

“The Management Award is granted to a member hospital of the NPSF Stand Up for Patient Safety program in recognition of an initiative, supported by leadership at all levels and embraced by a cross-discipline team, that delivers proven, life-saving change,” said Diane C. Pinakiewicz, president of the National Patient Safety Foundation. “Virginia Mason Medical Center, for work spearheaded by their Care Transition team, is most deserving of this recognition.”

The Virginia Mason Medical Center Care Transitions team has demonstrated evidence of measurable patient safety improvement for heart failure patients, with involvement of staff at all levels of the organization. An innovative care-transition system was created to facilitate communication through a highly targeted electronic records system, ensuring that heart-failure patients receive seamless transition through the care process. Virginia Mason also incorporated a patient education packet in order to communicate critical information between provider and patient. Heart failure patients receive straightforward information about their condition throughout their hospital stay. Once home, the patient has visual charts as reminders of what to do and when to contact the care provider, and a phone call from clinical staff within 48 hours of discharge is designed to answer specific questions and ensure appropriate follow-up appointments. By incorporating checklists in electronic medical records specifically for congestive heart failure patients, engaging all members of the care team in this effort, and creating new patient education materials, Virginia Mason has been able to optimize care transitions to keep patients safe.

NPSF 2010 Socius Award
Riley Hospital for Children

The National Patient Safety Foundation today presented the 2010 NPSF Socius Award to Riley Hospital for Children, of Indianapolis, Indiana. Socius is the Latin word for “partner,” and this award symbolizes the relationship between healthcare providers and the patients and families they serve.

“Each year NPSF recognizes an organization that promotes positive and effective partnering between patients, families, and health care providers in pursuit of improved patient safety,” said Diane Pinakiewicz, president of the National Patient Safety Foundation. “Riley Hospital’s work has evoked the true spirit of the Socius award through its family-centered commitment to care.”

Riley’s initiative—the Nurse to Nurse Shift Change Report at Bedside with Families—has become an established hospital-wide standard of practice. Working in partnership with nurses, Riley created a script report for shift changes that included the family in the caregiver routine. At each shift change, the nurses coming off and on duty enter the patient room together and conduct a head to toe patient assessment together with the family. Events during the current shift are discussed, a care plan for next shift developed, and medications and orders are reviewed. All components in the process are documented. Training materials for the new practice were developed for Riley staff as well as for families. By taking a family-centered approach to care, Riley created a safer, seamless transition process between nurse shifts that included the patient and family in a detailed bedside assessment of the patient.

This inclusive system has had a positive domino effect throughout the organization for patients and staff. Families have reported being better informed of their child’s condition and being respected partners in the care process. This has saved time for nurses who now respond to fewer questions, has eliminated dangerous “gaps” in care between shifts, and increased the essential communication between patient, family, and providers, lessoning the likelihood for errors.