American Hospital Association Quest for Quality Prize Recognizes Hospital Leadership and Innovation in Quality and Performance Improvement
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 26, 2021) – The American Hospital Association (AHA) today announced that Yale New Haven Health, headquartered in New Haven, Conn., has been named the 2021 recipient of the American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality Prize.
Yale New Haven Health was selected by a multi-disciplinary committee of health care quality and patient safety experts based on its exemplary achievements, which include addressing the social determinants of health, using data to drive quality improvements and engaging their employees in quality improvement work.
In addition, two other hospitals and health systems will be recognized for their leadership and innovation in quality and performance improvement. Yuma Regional Medical Center, based in Yuma, Ariz., and Memorial Healthcare System, headquartered in Hollywood, Fla., will be honored as finalists.
The American Hospital Association Quest for Quality Prize recognizes health care leadership and innovation in improving quality and advancing health in communities. The Quest for Quality Prize was first awarded in 2002. The prize is sponsored by RLDatix. This year’s recipients will be recognized on July 28 at the virtual AHA 2021 Leadership Summit. More information on the prize, including how to apply, can be found by visiting HERE.
“This year’s winner and finalists have been remarkable leaders in elevating the quality of care they provide each day to their patients and communities. During the pandemic – when they were experiencing surges in patients – they employed innovative techniques to ensure the highest quality of care for COVID-19 patients,” said Rick Pollack, AHA’s president and CEO. “Their organization-wide commitments to excellence in improving care and health are a model for the entire hospital field.”
“As the AHA’s Champion Sponsor of Quality, RLDatix is proud to present the Quest for Quality award to hospitals and health systems taking an innovative, people centered and data driven approach to improving care across America,” said Jeff Surges, CEO, RLDatix. “This year’s winner and finalists are making a significant impact in their local communities and creating better, safer environments for patients and health workers alike. We want to particularly congratulate this year’s winner, Yale New Haven Health, who during an unprecedented year created new and unique ways to stay connected to patients and ensure the well-being of staff. We are honored to recognize their incredible commitment to quality care.”
Prize Winner: Yale New Haven Health – New Haven, Conn.
Yale New Haven Health has displayed a deep commitment to improving the health of their patients and communities, including a philosophy that every employee participates in quality efforts. The health system is a leader in using data across the system to drive quality improvement, for example, employing a system-wide approach to addressing the opioid crisis, leading to a 25% decrease in intravenous opioid administration and a 20% decrease in opioid prescriptions at discharge. During its response to COVID-19, the health system used data to identify by zip code where to deploy staff and where to allocate vaccines, particularly to reach communities hit hard by the pandemic. In addition, within days of the first COVID-19 patient being diagnosed in Connecticut, Yale New Haven Health had created a call center so that patients could quickly get answers to a range of questions. During COVID-19, the system also supported patients at home, providing pulse oximeters within the community.
Yale New Haven Health is also addressing the social determinants of health in its communities, including holding a “hackathon” that attracted more than 200 participants. Finally, the system has worked hard to promote the well-being of its caregivers and employees, including through programs to promote emotional health and stress relief, especially during the pandemic.
Finalist: Yuma Regional Medical Center – Yuma, Ariz.
Yuma Regional Medical Center is a standalone hospital on the southern U.S. border. Despite limited resources and without a large employee base to draw from, Yuma Regional Medical Center rose to the challenge during the pandemic and served as the sole health provider and the sole source of vaccinators in its community. Through the work of its staff, the hospital maintained a strong supply chain and used data effectively while retaining its high level of quality care. The hospital also took the opportunity to enhance its training for caregivers during the pandemic, including through cross-training, which has led to quality improvements. Although concerned that COVID-19 could impact its new falls prevention program, staff continued their quality efforts during the pandemic and despite COVID-19 surges, Yuma Regional Medical Center recorded fewer falls than in the previous year.
The hospital has also focused intensely on improving the health of its community, such as working with social workers and its Patient and Family Advisory Council to address transportation access issues after noticing an increase in no-show appointments. In addition, the hospital has a robust and innovative residency program that aligns residency requirements with the hospital’s goals and quality initiatives. Residents participate in community outreach and teach and present to schools, churches and community centers. The residency program is also helping to address a significant physician shortage in Yuma County.
Finalist: Memorial Healthcare System – Hollywood, Fla.
Memorial Healthcare System played a leading role in pandemic response efforts in Florida, including partnering with the Florida National Guard and other community organizations. During the pandemic, the system made a concerted effort to keep patients connected with their families virtually while in the hospital, realizing how critical this was to their well-being. Memorial Healthcare System also worked closely with local nursing homes, bringing in infectious disease staff to educate nursing home workers on how to reduce infection rates, reflecting the system’s long-standing commitment not only to safety, but to its community.
As part of its philosophy to make its communities healthier, Memorial Healthcare System uses social determinants of health and other community data to identify patient and family needs and other societal factors influencing health. This has led to efforts such as providing free diapers to needy families, organizing life skills trainings, setting up a prayer line for spiritual needs, running a neonatal abstinence syndrome program, going door-to-door to help eligible people sign up for Affordable Care Act coverage, and helping with food outreach and supporting local food banks. The system has also provided well-being resources for caregivers and staff and has established an employee culture that is self-driven and focuses on accountability.
About the American Hospital Association
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA advocates on behalf of our nearly 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, our clinician partners – including more than 270,000 affiliated physicians, 2 million nurses and other caregivers – and the 43,000 health care leaders who belong to our professional membership groups. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides insight and education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.
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