WASHINGTON, DC -- Jan. 15 -- Today the National Quality Forum (NQF) announced North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System as the recipient of the 2010 NQF National Quality Healthcare Award for its ongoing commitment to providing high-quality, transparent, patient-centered healthcare. The award – the first presented to a New York metropolitan area hospital -- will be presented in partnership with Modern Healthcare on March 3 during NQF's spring policy conference in Baltimore.
As a leading national organization whose mission is to improve the quality of healthcare in America, NQF presents the Quality Award each year to exemplary healthcare organizations that are role models for achieving meaningful, sustainable quality improvement in healthcare. This year, in alignment with the National Priorities Partnership's Care Coordination Priority, the award also honors exemplary coordination within and across healthcare.
"North Shore-LIJ is a clear leader in striving to make high-quality care commonplace for every patient and a central part of its culture," said Janet Corrigan, NQF president and CEO. "We are at the precipice of change in healthcare in America, which will have implications for every healthcare facility in every community. North Shore-LIJ is ahead of the curve and firmly understands that quality measures, reporting of results, and ongoing education and improvement are the cornerstones of increasing the quality of care, reducing costs, coordinating more effectively, reducing errors, and improving safety."
North Shore-LIJ's commitment to quality and transparency has resulted in improved patient outcomes across the continuum. For instance, after implementing a process of weekly, post-discharge phone calls to heart failure patients, one North Shore-LIJ hospital reduced its readmission rate from 32 percent to 9 percent. Through a video-monitoring program in which hand-washing compliance statistics are on display for patients and hospital staff to see, North Shore-LIJ has increased hand-washing compliance by 81 percent.
"Quality improvement and accountability are familiar buzzwords within the healthcare
industry, but understandably, many consumers and patients have only a vague understanding of what those terms mean," said Michael J. Dowling, president and CEO of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. "For us to succeed as a healthcare organization and strengthen public trust, we recognized long ago that quality must be a top priority for every employee, regardless of whether they're cleaning patients' rooms or performing surgery in the operating room."
At North Shore-LIJ, the health system leadership sets the priorities and goals for quality improvement with input from physicians and staff, but gives its facilities the freedom to personalize implementation to meet local needs. The health system takes a multi-pronged approach that includes quality measurement, best practices, public reporting, internal communication of results, physician and employee empowerment, and continuous staff education and development.
For example, each week Dowling spends the first two hours of his day meeting with new employees during their orientation. He goes over the health system's strategic goals and initiatives, which include a major focus on the organization's quality measures, performance targets and results. His role is to send a loud and clear message: every employee—from administrative leaders to the environmental staff—is a quality ambassador who has an obligation and responsibility to provide the best care possible to every patient.
North Shore-LIJ is the third-largest, non-profit, secular healthcare system in America, with a service area of more than 5.2 million people in Long Island, Queens, and Staten Island. The system of 14 hospitals, dozens of centers of progressive care, long-term care facilities and home health agencies has more than 3.6 million patient contacts every year. With a staff of more than 38,000, it is the largest employer on Long Island and the ninth-largest in the New York metropolitan area.
The NQF National Quality Healthcare Award recipient is selected through a blinded review by a panel of jurors composed of national healthcare experts.
Previous recipients of the NQF National Quality Healthcare Award include Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Baylor Health Care Systems, HealthPartners, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Northwest Memorial Hospital, Trinity Health, and Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network.
The National Quality Healthcare Award
Created in 1993, the award is the first of its kind to recognize outstanding quality-driven healthcare organizations. For 17 years, first through the National Committee for Quality Health Care and now through NQF, the award has provided encouragement for improvements in quality through public recognition of organizations' accomplishments.
National Quality Forum
NQF works to raise standards for healthcare performance and to make high-quality care commonplace for every patient. NQF has set national priorities and goals for performance improvement, endorsed national consensus standards for measuring and publicly reporting on performance, and promoted the attainment of national goals through education and outreach programs.
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