America's Essential Hospitals recognizes five for programs that enhance patient care, meet community needs

Washington, DC (PRWEB) June 16, 2016

America's Essential Hospitals, whose members care for the nation's vulnerable patients, today recognized five member hospitals and health systems for outstanding work to improve quality and population health.

The association announced 2016 Gage Award winners at its annual conference, VITAL2016, in Boston. The awards celebrate creative and successful programs that enhance patient care and meet community needs.

"Our Gage award winners exemplify what essential hospitals do best: deliver exceptional care to all people, build healthier communities, and drive innovative solutions to our toughest health care challenges," said America's Essential Hospitals President and CEO Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH.

2016 Award for Population Health
This award recognizes activities that improve delivery, access, or value for specific populations and improve health outcomes.

  • Winner: UMass Memorial Health Care, Worcester, Massachusetts

Through a program of home visits and close collaboration with school nurses, UMass Memorial Health Care reduced emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and absenteeism among children with poorly controlled asthma.

"An innovative collaboration among our caregivers, parents, school nurses, and other partners is the reason for the success of this program in Worcester," said UMass Memorial Health Care President and CEO Eric Dickson, MD. "I am very proud of the entire team for this important outreach to the community."

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  • Honorable Mention: Boston Medical Center (BMC), Boston

In a BMC program that improved access to opioid dependence treatment in community health centers, nurse care managers worked collaboratively with physicians to screen patients, make referrals, develop treatment plans, and perform other critical tasks.

"Boston Medical Center is proud to be recognized by America's Essential Hospitals for this innovative program to expand resources in the fight against the opioid epidemic," said BMC President and CEO Kate Walsh. "This program showed how nurse care managers, physicians, and community health centers can work together as members of the clinical community to give people a new hope for recovery."

2016 Award for Quality
This award recognizes activities that improve the quality of care delivered, or reduce or eliminate events that harm individual patients or groups of patients.

  • Winner: Parkland Health & Hospital System, Dallas

Parkland Health & Hospital System reduced time and cost burdens on uninsured patients and freed up hospital beds for more intensive care by teaching patients how to self-administer intravenous antimicrobial drugs at home.

"This program is a prime example of transformative innovations that positively affect the quality of life for our patients while making the best use of limited resources," said Parkland President and CEO Fred Cerise, MD, MPH. "The self-administered antibiotics program saved 27,666 patient days at Parkland during the four years of the study - the equivalent of adding 26 beds. The uninsured patients go home earlier than they used to, helping the hospital avoid nearly $40 million in costs since the program's inception."

  • Honorable Mention: Boston Medical Center

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BMC reduced postoperative pulmonary complications, such as pneumonia, through patient and family education about, and standardized physician orders for, deep breathing, oral hygiene, head-of-bed elevation, and other preventive measures.

"Boston Medical Center is honored to be recognized for our comprehensive program to reduce postoperative pulmonary complications," Walsh said. "These carefully considered steps, along with patient and family education, are making a tremendous difference in patient outcomes. By working together and sharing best practices and ideas with other essential hospitals, BMC is made stronger, and our patients benefit."

  • Honorable Mention: Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG)

ZSFG and its partner clinics reduced avoidable hospital readmissions by encouraging timely follow-up visits and phone calls post-discharge, and improving communication among providers. In one year, the hospital's 30-day readmission rate fell from 13.1 to 10.3 percent.

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"We learned that what happens outside of the hospital is equally or more important than what happens inside, when it comes to reducing avoidable readmissions," said ZSFG CEO Susan Ehrlich, MD, MPP. "It is gratifying to find ways to improve patients' post-hospital experience and care, and keep them healthier at home, through better communication with everyone involved."

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About America's Essential Hospitals
America's Essential Hospitals is the leading association and champion for hospitals and health systems dedicated to high-quality care for all, including the most vulnerable. Since 1981, America's Essential Hospitals has initiated, advanced, and preserved programs and policies that help these hospitals ensure access to care. We support members with advocacy, policy development, research, and education.

Our roughly 275 members are vital to their communities, providing primary care through trauma care, disaster response, health professional training, research, public health programs, and other services. They innovate and adapt to lead the broader health care community toward more effective and efficient care. Learn more at essentialhospitals.org.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/06/prweb13487904.htm