Joint Commission, NQF Announce 2022 Eisenberg Award Winners

Jan. 25, 2023
Each year, patient safety and quality awards are presented for individual achievement, national-level innovation, and local-level innovation

The Joint Commission and National Quality Forum (NQF) today announced the recipients of the 2022 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards. The Eisenberg Awards recognize major achievements by individuals and organizations to improve patient safety and healthcare quality.

Each year, awards are presented for individual achievement, national-level innovation, and local-level innovation. This year’s awardees made advancements related to medical errors in health information technology (IT), significantly reduced rates of critical events related to anesthesia, and connected mothers with important postpartum care. They are:

  • Individual Achievement: Jason S. Adelman, M.D., M.S., chief patient safety officer and associate chief quality officer; executive director, Center for Patient Safety Research; director, Patient Safety Research Fellowship, Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian; associate professor of medicine (in biomedical informatics) and vice chair for quality and patient safety, Department of Medicine, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • National Level Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality: Anesthesia Risk Alerts Program – North American Partners in Anesthesia (NAPA)
  • Local Level Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality: Improving Maternal Safety and Quality Through Extending Maternal Care After Pregnancy in Dallas County – Parkland Health

Launched in 2002, the awards honor the late John M. Eisenberg, M.D., M.B.A., former administrator of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). An impassioned advocate for healthcare quality improvement, Eisenberg was a founding member of NQF’s board of directors.

Adelman is a leader and innovator in the medical errors field and has developed novel methods to measure and prevent errors in health IT systems. Among his key accomplishments is the development of the Wrong-Patient Retract-and-Reorder (RAR) Measure that detects wrong patient orders in electronic health record data. The RAR Measure has subsequently facilitated a large body of patient safety research, including medication errors and wrong-patient orders in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).

North American Partners in Anesthesia is honored for its Anesthesia Risk Alerts Program, which was implemented across 500 hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) in March 2019. The program implemented specific mitigation strategies targeting five high-risk clinical scenarios: known or suspected difficult airway, a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 45, pulmonary hypertension, American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) status of 4 or 5, and operating room (OR) fire risk. Each patient is assessed by the anesthesia clinician, and if a risk is identified, the specific mitigation strategy for that scenario is advised to prevent harm.

After implementation of the program, which reached greater than 95 percent compliance, the incidence rate of relevant critical adverse events for patients with a BMI greater than or equal to 45 and under general anesthesia decreased significantly.

Parkland Health is recognized for its Extending Maternal Care After Pregnancy (eMCAP) program in Dallas County, initiated in October 2020. The eMCAP program provides postpartum access to care for 12 months after birth for women with the highest social needs and limited access to physician clinic locations, mostly minority women. The program utilizes advance practice providers, community health workers, nurse home visits, virtual visits, and a mobile van deployed to locations in Dallas County to address patient health concerns, including hypertension, diabetes, and behavioral health.

Compared to matched controls:

  • Attendance for eMCAP patients with chronic hypertension was significantly better up to 12 months after birth.
  • Up to three months after birth, patients with diabetes management had significantly better follow-up, resulting in significantly lower HbA1c values.
  • Patients with abnormal mental health screening scores were successfully referred for behavioral therapy, completed sessions with licensed mental health counselors, and accepted therapeutic intervention.

The awardees will be recognized during a special John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety & Quality Awards Luncheon sponsored by Elevance Health at NQF23, NQF’s Annual Conference, Feb. 20-22, 2023, in Washington, D.C. The achievements of each awardee will also be featured in a special issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety later this year.

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