Joint Commission recognizes healthcare leaders

April 20, 2022

The Joint Commission and National Quality Forum (NQF) announced the recipients of the 20th John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards.

The Eisenberg Awards recognize major achievements by individuals and organizations to improve patient safety and healthcare quality.

Each year, awards are presented for individual achievement, national-level innovation and local-level innovation. This year’s recipients in these categories have made improvements in diagnostic safety and the safety of health information technology, addressed social determinants of health, and created advanced patient monitoring systems and alerts. The awardees are:

•             Individual Achievement Awardee: Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH, chief of the Health Policy, Quality & Informatics Program in the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety at Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and professor at Baylor College of Medicine

•             National Level Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality: Prime Healthcare Services, Improving and Promoting Social Determinants of Health at a System Level

•             Local Level Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality: Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Advance Alert Monitor – Automated Early Warning System of Adults at Risk

In addition to this stellar group, this year, the Honorary Eisenberg Lifetime Achievement Award is being presented to Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, former president and CEO, The Joint Commission.

“The John M. Eisenberg Awards were created to honor the enduring legacy of Dr. Eisenberg. Twenty years later, they continue to showcase how innovation and dedication to process improvement can lead to sustainable solutions to some of healthcare’s greatest challenges. The recipients of this year’s Eisenberg Awards uphold Dr. Eisenberg’s life’s work and those who have come before them in furthering the mission of improving patient safety and quality of care. Congratulations to Dr. Hardeep Singh, Dr. Mark R. Chassin, Prime Healthcare Services and Kaiser Permanente Northern California for being the recipients of the 2021 Eisenberg Awards,” said David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president, Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation, The Joint Commission.

Dr. Singh is recognized for his expansive, pioneering career in diagnostic safety and health IT safety. He has succeeded in translating his research into pragmatic tools, strategies and innovations for improving patient safety.

Over the course of his career, he has partnered with institutions such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to develop and implement tools to improve healthcare IT, including applications to improve diagnosis. Many of his developments, such as E-trigger tools, an eight-dimension sociotechnical model for health IT, and tools and checklists for communicating test results to patients and providers, are in use across the country to improve patient care.

Prime Healthcare Services is commended for establishing a program to address social determinants of health (SDOH). The initiative, “Improving and Promoting Social Determinants of Health at a System Level,” aims to help providers more effectively deliver patient care and reduce healthcare disparities. After implementing a new screening tool, community partnerships and bidirectional communications flow, Prime Healthcare Services observed improvements in all-cause hospital-wide readmission rates.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California is honored for its life-saving initiative, “Advance Alert Monitor – Automated Early Warning System of Adults at Risk.” Kaiser Permanente developed a predictive analytic system called Advance Alert Monitor (AAM) that proactively identifies patients with a high risk of mortality or transfer to the ICU. Evaluation of the program showed statistically significant decreases in mortality with between 550 to 3,020 lives saved over four years. Data also indicated improvements in ICU admission rates, length of hospital stay, in-hospital morbidity and mortality within 30 days of an alert.

Finally, this year, The Joint Commission and NQF have awarded Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, former president and CEO of The Joint Commission and current president emeritus, with an Honorary Lifetime Achievement Award. During his 14 years as president, Dr. Chassin oversaw the activities of the nation’s predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in healthcare. He introduced profound changes to Joint Commission accreditation and certification programs during that time. Under his leadership, accreditation shifted away from simply citing deficiencies to helping to drive improvement, as summarized in the motto, “Evaluate, educate and inspire.”

“This award program, now twenty years ongoing, is an annual reminder of Dr. Eisenberg’s legacy and measurement’s critical role in our healthcare system’s continuous improvement. There is so much to be proud of for this year’s awardees. Together, they display innovation and immense dedication to improving patient outcomes. Congratulations to Dr. Hardeep Singh, Dr. Mark R. Chassin, Prime Healthcare Services and Kaiser Permanente Northern California from all of us at NQF,” said Dana Gelb Safran, ScD, president & CEO, NQF.

The achievements of each awardee will be featured in a special issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety later this summer. The awardees will also be recognized in an awards presentation to be broadcast this summer.

For more information on the incredible accomplishments of the 2021 awardees, please read the award brochure. The Joint Commission and NQF websites offer additional details on the Eisenberg Awards. The next Eisenberg Awards submission period is expected to open in early August 2022, sign up for email alerts.

Joint Commission release