Vidant Health receives national award for quality and patient safety initiatives

Written By  Beth Anne Atkins  on  1/24/14
Health system only one of four in nation to receive the 2013 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award

Eisenberg-Mark-FINAL-REDGREENVILLE, NC — Vidant Health has been chosen to receive one of the nation’s most prestigious recognitions for performance in quality and safety. Vidant Health has been awarded the 2013 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award from the National Quality Forum (NQF) and The Joint Commission. The award was for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the Local Level. Vidant Health is only one of four organizations being recognized nationally for its quality and patient safety initiatives.

Specifically, it was chosen for its system-wide quality transformation. During the last five years, Vidant Health has outlined a series of interventions to improve patient safety and quality that included board literacy in quality, an aggressive transparency policy, patient-family partnerships, and leader and physician engagement. Implementation of specific tactics associated with each approach occurred in the ensuing years.

The transformation of the system has resulted in:
• an 83 percent reduction in serious safety events;
• a 62 percent reduction in hospital-acquired infections;
• a 98 percent optimal care in core measures from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid;
• patient experience performance in the top 20 percent;
• and more than 150 patient advisors partnering with leaders, physicians, and front-line staff in safety and quality work.

From the bedside to the board room, the improvement in quality is evident across Vidant Health’s nine hospitals, 70 physician practices, and ambulatory surgery and home health/hospice services.

“We are very honored and pleased to join some of our most respected peers and receive this award. The work that has been accomplished across all of Vidant Health speaks to the commitment of our staff to deliver the best care possible,” said Dr. David Herman, president and CEO, Vidant Health. “The true beneficiaries of this award are our patients and their families, whose care has been made more safe and effective.”

A few of the past winners include:
• Kaiser Permanente (Oakland, CA)
• Memorial Hermann Healthcare System (Houston, TX)
• New York –Presbyterian Hospital (New York)
• Henry Ford Health System (Detroit, MI)
• Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston, MA)

The 2013 winners represent numerous achievements in the field of patient safety and quality, including: prevention of more than 5,400 readmissions; system-wide engagement to reduce medical errors; an adverse patient-safety event that catalyzed an important and successful quality transformation; and an individuals’ lifetime achievement in the field of patient safety and quality.

The other three winners for 2013 include:
• Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the National Level – Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement (ICSI), Bloomington, MN; Minnesota Hospital Association, St. Paul, MN; and Stratis Health, Bloomington, MN (Dr. Herman served on the Board of Directors of ICSI from 2007-2011.)
• Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality at the National Level - Anthem Blue Cross, Woodland Hills, CA; National Health Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; Hospital Association of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA; Hospital Association of San Diego & Imperial Counties, San Diego, CA; and the Hospital Council of Northern & Central California, Sacramento, CA
• Individual Achievement - Gail L. Warden, President Emeritus of Henry Ford Health System Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI

The patient safety awards program, launched in 2002 by NQF and The Joint Commission, honors John M. Eisenberg, M.D., M.B.A., former administrator of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Dr. Eisenberg was also a member of the founding Board of Directors of NQF. In his roles both as AHRQ administrator and chair of the federal government’s Quality Interagency Coordination Task Force, he was a passionate advocate for patient safety and health care quality and personally led AHRQ’s grant program to support patient safety research.

“The achievements of this year’s Eisenberg Award recipients are exemplary,” says Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president and CEO, The Joint Commission. “Their tireless dedication to making their organizations and the healthcare industry safer for patients, saving lives, and decreasing costs deserves to be applauded.”

“We congratulate this year’s Eisenberg Award recipients for the tremendous strides they have taken toward improving the patient experience by making care safer,” said Christine Cassel, MD, president and CEO of NQF. “Our winners exemplify the nation's quality movement and underscore the vital importance of our work at the National Quality Forum to foster the best thinking to improve healthcare quality and patient safety through measurement.”

The awards will be presented at NQF’s 2014 Annual Conference in February.

The May 2014 issue of “The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety” also will feature the achievements of each of the award recipients.

About Vidant Health
Vidant Health, a mission-driven, not-for-profit corporation, owns, leases or has a majority membership interest in nine eastern North Carolina hospitals. The health system includes Vidant Beaufort Hospital, Vidant Bertie Hospital, Vidant Chowan Hospital, Vidant Duplin Hospital, Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, The Outer Banks Hospital, Vidant Medical Center, Vidant Pungo Hospital, Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, Vidant Home Health and Hospice; Vidant Wellness Centers and physician practices, and is affiliated with the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. On the web at

About the National Quality Forum:
The National Quality Forum leads collaboration across the nation to improve health and healthcare quality through measurement. Learn more at:

About The Joint Commission:
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,300 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,500 other health care organizations that provide nursing and rehabilitation center care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission currently certifies more than 2,000 disease-specific care programs, focused on the care of patients with chronic illnesses such as stroke, joint replacement, stroke rehabilitation, heart failure and many others. The Joint Commission also provides health care staffing services certification for more than 750 staffing offices. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at