Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards Winners Announced

By John Commins

HCA Healthcare and WellSpan Health have been named winners of the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards for their efforts to identify and reduce sepsis.

The award, bestowed by the Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, is given for national, local, and individual categories.

“The Eisenberg Awards identify significant and lasting contributions to improving patient safety and health care quality that are consistent with the aims of the National Quality Strategy: better care, healthy people and communities, and smarter spending,” the Joint Commission and NQF said in a joint press release.

Gordon D. Schiff, MD, an internist, associate director of Brigham and Women’s Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice, and director of the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care Harvard Medical School, won the Eisenberg “individual achievement” award.

Schiff is well known on the patient safety and quality improvement realm, having authored more than 250 articles on safety issues related to health informatics, and medication and diagnostic errors. He is a founding contributor to the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine’s Diagnostic Error in Medicine international conference series, and a reviewer of the National Academy of Medicine Report: Improving Diagnosis in Healthcare.

Before joining Brigham and Women’s a decade ago, Schiff led quality and safety projects at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital in Chicago.

HCA Healthcare won the Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the National Level for developing the world’s largest continuously operating sepsis surveillance system.

The hospital company’s Sepsis Prediction & Optimization of Therapy (SPOT) was rolled out 2018 in 164 U.S. hospitals. SPOT uses algorithms to analyze sepsis development patterns across HCA hospitals and can detect sepsis six hours earlier than traditional screenings.

Using SPOT, HCA saw improvement in sepsis mortality, and intervention efforts, nearly 8,000 patient lives have been saved since 2013.

Jonathan Perlin, MD, HCA CMO, said the award has particular meaning for the Nashville-based, for-profit hospital company because “the current public health climate of COVID-19 has emphasized now more than ever the importance of early detection of life-threatening illnesses.”

“We are honored to receive this respected award for our technology that helps clinicians detect sepsis earlier, accelerates treatment, improves the care provided to patients, and helps save lives,” he said.

WellSpan Health won the Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the Local Level for creating a “Central Alert Team” of critical care nurses who continuously telemonitor patients at all WellSpan hospitals from a remote “bunker.” The York, PA-based health system estimates that it saved 350 lives “and counting” by reducing early sepsis detection and screening times from 67 minutes to 12 minutes.

“The team is a marriage of real-time electronic healthcare data and a highly skilled clinical team,” said Steven Delaveris, DO, WellSpan’s vice president of medical services. “That powerful combination results in WellSpan hospitals having some of the best survival rates for sepsis in the country. In real terms, this team is saving lives.”

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.