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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Nancy Fiedler, MHA, 410-379-6200, ext. 3333, nfiedler@mhaonline.org
Kristine S. George, Delmarva Foundation, 410-763-6295, georgek@dfmc.org

Maryland Patient Safety Center Earns National Recognition

September 20, 2005 –Sharing credit with the state and the health care community, the Maryland Patient Safety Center today celebrated being honored with the 2005 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for national/regional innovation in patient safety.

“Receiving the prestigious John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award is a tremendous honor, but it is even more rewarding to know we are making real progress improving patient safety here in Maryland,” said Maryland Patient Safety Center Executive Director Bill Minogue, M.D.

The Maryland Patient Safety Center, created by the Maryland Health Care Commission in 2004, is a collaboration between the Maryland Hospital Association and the Delmarva Foundation.

“The Center has made patient safety everybody’s job and there is strong evidence that working together, we are making Maryland patient care safer,” said MHA Senior Vice President Vahé Kazandjian. 

More than 2,000 individuals, representing every hospital in the state as well as other health care providers, have received training from the Center on the causes of unsafe practices and ways to design safer systems.

The Center’s first collaborative effort to improve safety in the intensive care units (ICUs) of Maryland hospitals is already showing evidence of success.  Working with national experts and over 35 teams from Maryland hospital ICUs, these teams have reduced ventilator-associated pneumonia by 19 percent in just eight months.  Teams working on reducing blood stream infections have seen a 36 percent reduction over this time period.

“The Center’s mission and collaborative approach have galvanized the support and participation of the entire health care community,” said Maulik Joshi, President and CEO of the Delmarva Foundation.  “The success of our first collaborative has generated real excitement and commitment to do more to ensure that Maryland hospitals are the safest in the nation.”

“What makes the Maryland Patient Safety Center unique from just about every other patient safety program in the country is that the state gave it a mandate to innovate and go beyond data collection to actually putting practical, measurable safety improvements in place," said Del. Brian McHale, a sponsor of legislation to create the Maryland Center and a member of the Center’s Advisory Board.

The Center has designed a voluntary reporting system for health care providers to report “close calls” and errors that do not result in permanent harm to the patient.  This information will supplement the mandatory reporting of serious adverse events already being collected by the state that will help health providers improve their systems and reduce mistakes.

The activities of the Center are offered at no charge to Maryland health care providers and are funded by the Maryland Hospital Association, the Delmarva Foundation, and Maryland hospitals, with additional financial assistance from the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission and various private sources.

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About the Maryland Patient Safety Center
The Maryland Patient Safety Center brings health care providers together to learn the causes of unsafe practices and put practical improvements in place to prevent harm to patients.  The Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) and the Delmarva Foundation, jointly operate the Maryland Patient Safety Center.  The MHA represents all of Maryland's hospitals and has been recognized for its involvement in quality of care and patient safety through the MEDSAFE initiative, Quality Indicator Project, and educational activities through the Maryland Healthcare Education Institute (MHEI).  Delmarva Foundation, a national not-for-profit quality improvement organization, has been working with hospitals, physicians, home health agencies and nursing homes in Maryland for more than 30 years. For more information, visit www.marylandpatientsafety.org.

About the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Award
The John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards were established in 2002 by the National Quality Forum (NQF) and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) in memory of John M. Eisenberg M.D., M.B.A., Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) at the time of his death in March 2002.  Dr. Eisenberg was  a member of the founding Board of Directors of the NQF and an impassioned advocate for health care quality improvement.  In his roles both as AHRQ administrator and chair of the federal government’s Quality Inter-Agency Coordination Task Force, Dr. Eisenberg was a passionate advocate for patient safety and health care quality and personally led AHRQ’s grant program to support patient safety research.  The award perpetuates the enduring contributions of this health care and community leader by recognizing the achievements of individuals and organizations that have made an important contribution to patient safety and health care quality in the areas of research or system innovation.