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Media Update: News from the Maryland Patient Safety Center

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Contact Patricia Montone Charvat,

Maryland Patient Safety Center Redesignated by State Commission to be Maryland’s Patient Safety Organization

November 24, 2008--At its November 20 meeting, the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) redesignated the Maryland Patient Safety Center as the State’s patient safety organization for an additional five years, beginning January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2014.

“In its first five years of existence, the Center has built a remarkable collaborative team to improve health care quality and prevent medical errors,” said Rex W. Cowdry, MD, MHCC Executive Director. “Hospitals, working with the Maryland Patient Safety Center, have reduced infections, improved emergency department efficiency, and addressed perinatal deaths.  We are pleased to redesignate this organization as Maryland's patient safety center and expect continued innovative efforts over the coming five years.”

The Maryland Patient Safety Center was established by the Maryland Legislature in 2003 and first received the state designation in 2004. In September 2007, the Center became an incorporated organization, with the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) and the Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care continuing to act as primary members of the Center.

During its first five years, health care providers in the state have partnered with the Maryland Patient Safety Center to make patient safety a top priority. Signature achievements include:

  1. Received the 2005 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award for national/regional innovation in patient safety.
  2. Engaged and trained more than 9,000 health care professionals about safety strategies and tools that have transformed Maryland’s hospitals.  In addition, the Center is working with 85% of Maryland hospitals in breakthrough collaborative programs.
  3. Improved outcomes and processes of care, including dramatic reductions in ventilator associated pneumonia and catheter-related blood stream infections during its Intensive Care Unit Collaborative, resulting in an estimated 140 lives saved and $40,775,070 in avoided costs; the first state-wide collaborative on reducing infant and maternal harm in labor and delivery; and other improvements related to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
  4. Created an Adverse Event Reporting System that explores patterns and trends related to medical errors and near misses that occur in healthcare facilities. With this information, the Center deploys improvements in systems and processes of care. Eighty-five (85) percent of hospitals contribute to the Adverse Event Reporting System.

“We honor the providers who work so diligently to provide high quality, safe care to patients,” said William Minogue, MD, FACP, Executive Director.  “We are delighted to be able to continue building on the success of the Center.”


About the Maryland Patient Safety Center
The Maryland Patient Safety Center, jointly supported by the Maryland Hospital Association and the Delmarva Foundation, brings together hospitals and health care 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.  For further information, visit

About the Maryland Hospital Association
MHA is a membership organization for Maryland hospitals and health systems.  Its membership is comprised of community and teaching hospitals, health systems, specialty hospitals, veterans hospitals, and long-term care facilities. For more information, visit

About The Delmarva Foundation
Delmarva Foundation is a national, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare quality in over 20 states.  Since 1973, Delmarva has assisted in improving care in hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, medical practices and health plans.  Delmarva performs quality improvement, quality assurance, utilization review, external quality review and Program Safeguard activities.  The company's corporate headquarters are located in Easton, Maryland with other offices in Columbia, Maryland; Washington, DC; Columbia, South Carolina; Tampa, Florida; and Tallahassee, Florida. For more information, visit Delmarva Foundation on the web at