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Contact:  Patty Charvat, 978.273.7764

Maryland Hospitals’ Innovative Patient Safety Solutions Mark a New Frontier in Safety
Award-Winning Hospital Initiatives Spread Safety to the Community

Friday, April 8, 2010 - A comprehensive initiative for measurably reducing and preventing infant deaths through parent education in the nursery at Franklin Square Hospital Center has been selected by the Maryland Patient Safety Center (MPSC)  to receive the first Minogue Award for Patient Safety Innovation.  In addition, Frederick Memorial Hospital’s program for identifying and helping potential victims of domestic abuse is being recognized for Distinguished Achievement in Patient Safety Innovation.  Eight other Maryland hospitals are being honored through the Circle of Honor for Patient Safety Innovation.

The Minogue Award, which will be presented at the 7th Annual Maryland Patient Safety Conference on April 8, was created by the MPSC Board of Directors to recognize an organization that has made a demonstrable difference in patient safety through an innovative Solution.  It is named for MPSC’s first President and Executive Director William Minogue, MD, FACP, to honor his enduring contributions and passion for improving patient care and safety.  The Distinguished Achievement in Patient Safety Innovation and the Circle of Honor for Patient Safety Innovation, which honor and recognize other top solutions as part of the Minogue Award selection process, will also be presented at the April 8 Maryland Patient Safety Conference.

The Franklin Square Hospital Center solution addresses the growing number of infant deaths resulting from inappropriate sleep environments.  In the examination of the causes of infant mortality, it was determined that from 2003 -2007, 75% of the 69 infant deaths in Baltimore County were associated with unsafe sleep environments.  With this data in hand,  Scott Krugman, MD, MS, Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Franklin Square and his team launched a primary prevention and educational initiative to tackle the issue of unsafe sleeping positions for infants.  Based on a similar, successful program for abusive head trauma (AHT -- often called shaken baby syndrome), this initiative calls on nursery caregivers to focus on parent education, resource materials, and a signed commitment by parents to place the baby in a safe sleeping position. 

Overall, infant deaths due to inappropriate sleep conditions decreased according to Dr. Krugman.  “It’s pretty exciting to see that we are making a difference.  If every hospital in the Baltimore Metropolitan area did the same things on AHT and sleep safety, we could make a real impact on infant mortality. “

“We know we are being successful because no one considers this a ‘program’,” said Dr. Krugman.  “This is just what we do now.”   

In addition to Franklin Square, the Lethality Assessment Program at Frederick Memorial Hospital is being recognized for Distinguished Achievement in Patient Safety Innovation by MPSC.  This program is designed to help victims of domestic violence enter safety programs that can potentially save their lives.  Frederick is one of two hospitals in Maryland that is modeling this assessment, initially piloted in 2005 by first responders in law enforcement.   

If a patient is identified as a potential domestic abuse victim, using the Lethality Assessment, the victim is privately offered the opportunity to call Heartly House, which offers shelter and access to domestic violence services while an individual safety plan is developed and activated.  This program has led to a significant level of identification and follow-up.

“These two top solutions represent a new frontier in patient safety,” said Patrick Chaulk, MD, MPSC President and CEO.  “Traditionally, patient safety has been viewed within the lens of clinical programs, such as initiatives for reducing infections, checklists for safety, and other clinically focused-programs.  These award-winning programs mark an evolutionary shift in patient safety—from the halls of the hospital to community venues.  As demonstrated in the two winning solutions, our patient safety work doesn’t end once a patient leaves the hospital.  This is a remarkable transition and demonstrates how Maryland hospitals continue to be leaders in patient safety innovation.”

Eight other Maryland programs were recognized as innovative solutions to keeping patients safe through the Circle of Honor for Patient Safety Innovation.  They include:

  • University of Maryland Medical Center
    Reduction of Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infections Through the Use of a Designated Unit-Based Infection Control Nurse
  • Howard County General Hospital
    Sustainability of a Falls Prevention Program
  • Saint Agnes Hospital
    Glidescope Enables Successful Emergency Intubation by Respiratory Therapists
  • St. Joseph Medical Center
    Surgical Safety Checklist: Enhancing Patient Safety Through Teamwork and Communication Strategies
  • Union Memorial Hospital
    Palliative Care: A Hospital’s Proactive Approach to Care for the Patient with Advanced Progressive Illness
  • Garrett County Memorial Hospital
    Pertinent Preventions: Lessons Learned in the War Against Infections
  • Peninsula Regional Medical Center
    Multidisciplinary Approach to HAPU Reduction
  • Sheppard Pratt Health System
    Spreading the “SPIRIT”

The April 8, 2011 Maryland Patient Safety Conference will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center.

For more information about these programs, visit

About the Maryland Patient Safety Center
The Maryland Patient Safety Center brings together hospitals and healthcare providers to improve patient safety and health care quality for all Marylanders. The goal of the Patient Safety Center is to make Maryland's health care the safest in the nation by focusing on the systems of care, reducing the occurrence of adverse events, and improving the culture of patient safety at Maryland health care facilities. It is jointly supported by the Maryland Hospital Association and the Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care.   For further information, visit