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Memorial Hermann 2012 Recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award

HOUSTON (February11, 2013)

Health System Becomes First Texas Hospital Recognized for Prestigious Award 

The National Quality Forum (NQF) and The Joint Commission have named Memorial Hermann Health System the 2012 recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award at the National Level. Memorial Hermann is the first Texas hospital system ever recognized with the Eisenberg Award. 

Moreover, Memorial Hermann is the only health system or hospital ever to be the recipient of both the NQF National Quality Healthcare Award (2009) and the Eisenberg Award at the National Level.

The honor acknowledges Memorial Hermann and its affiliated physicians for their High Reliability Organization journey from Board to Bedside initiative. Memorial Hermann's innovative approach has focused on providing compassionate, operationally and financially efficient care by hardwiring high-reliability behaviors, evidence-based care and harm prevention among leadership and employees system-wide.

"This award is a great honor for Memorial Hermann, our medical staff and employees, and represents the pinnacle recognition when it comes to patient safety and quality," said Dan Wolterman, President and CEO of Memorial Hermann. "When we embarked on our journey to become a High Reliability Organization, we didn't do it to win awards. We did it in the best interests of our patients and their families. This recognition by the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission validates our journey and provides the impetus to keep working towards the achievable goal of zero harm - such as hospital acquired infections - to our patients while in our care." 

To recognize high reliability behavior, the Memorial Hermann High Reliability Certified Zero Award was created for hospitals that go for a year or longer without any occurrences of hospital acquired infections, hospital acquired conditions, or serious safety events for one year.  Since 2011, 78 such awards have been presented.

"The Eisenberg Award is truly the "Oscar" of health care quality and safety," said Dr. M. Michael Shabot, System Chief Medical Officer for Memorial Hermann. "We are grateful to the Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum for recognizing Memorial Hermann and its journey to become a High Reliability Organization.  Our goal is to eliminate all potential sources of harm from all our facilities, including hospital acquired infections, medication errors and other adverse events, and to assist other health care organizations in their journey. This award recognizes our effort and affirms us as one of the nation's leaders in implementing innovative patient safety and quality programs."

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.

"I congratulate Memorial Hermann for their commitment to safe and high quality health care," says Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H., president, The Joint Commission. "With organizations like Memorial Hermann leading the way, we are slowly but surely seeing the transformation of the American health care system to one where more and more organizations are making dramatic progress toward the ultimate goal of zero patient harm."

Memorial Hermann will be presented with the award on March 8, 2013 during a luncheon at the 2013 NQF Annual Conference and Membership Meeting in Washington, DC.

"The Eisenberg Award serves as an important reminder of what health care should strive to be at all times - safe, effective, and focused on providing patient-centered care," said Gerald Shea, interim president and CEO, NQF.  "We congratulate Memorial Hermann for their continued contributions in the field and for the impact their successes will continue to have on raising the standard of care in our nation."

About Memorial Hermann 

An integrated health system, Memorial Hermann is known for world-class clinical expertise, patient-centered care, leading edge technology, and innovation. The system, with its exceptional medical staff and more than 20,000 employees, serves to advance health in Southeast Texas and the Greater Houston community. Memorial Hermann's 12 hospitals include three hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, including the Texas Trauma Institute - a level I trauma center which houses the Life Flight® air ambulance - a hospital for children and a rehabilitation hospital, eight suburban hospitals, and a second rehabilitation hospital in Katy. The system also operates three Heart & Vascular Institutes, the Mischer Neuroscience Institute, two Ironman Sports Medicine Institute locations, cancer centers, imaging and surgery centers, sports medicine and rehabilitation centers, outpatient laboratories, a chemical dependency treatment center, a home health agency, a retirement community and a nursing home. As an Accountable Care Organization, the system also offers employers health solutions and health benefit plans through its wholly owned MHealth, Inc and MHealth Insurance Company.