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June 23, 2016

New York’s Hospitals Recognized for Quality Improvement Programs

Patient Care Improvement Efforts by Northwell Health, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Bassett Medical Center, and Cohen Children’s Medical Center Honored by Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety

BOLTON LANDING, N.Y.—In recognition of significant achievements in improving patient care, the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) presented its Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety to Northwell Health, Bassett Medical Center/Bassett Medical Group, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, and Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York.

“Hospitals across the state are changing the patient care experience and significantly improving patient outcomes. These honorees show how healthcare organizations are transforming to provide the best care for their patients,” said HANYS President Dennis Whalen. 

Aiming for Zero: Best Practice Strategies to Eliminate Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs) Across a Large Multi-Hospital Organization, an initiative by Northwell Health, based in Great Neck, received HANYS’ Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety for the category of a system or hospital with more than 500 beds.

In 2012, an organization-wide steering committee was formed to oversee an initiative to eliminate catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) across the system’s acute care and children’s hospitals. Using facility-specific CAUTI teams, uniform guidelines and best practice prevention strategies, and uniform metrics on the internal and public websites, Northwell’s initiative has resulted in a 52% decrease in CAUTIs, a nearly 20% decrease in indwelling catheter days in 2015, and there was just one CAUTI at the children’s hospital from 2014 to 2015.  The program also decreased antibiotic exposure to patients, decreased the risk of other infections that occur due to antibiotic resistance, and reduced potentially life-threatening complications.

St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center’s Inter-professional and Systems Approach to Proactively Decrease Inpatient Hypoglycemia won the Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety in the hospital in the 200 to 500 beds category. 

After seeing a high proportion of patients with diabetes, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center created a Hypoglycemic Task Force and developed an inter-professional team to evaluate episodes of hypoglycemia daily, initiate changes at the patient and system level, educate pharmacies and providers about the principles of daily dose insulin regimens, modify insulin protocols, and leverage new electronic health records to identify patients on insulin with a hypoglycemic event. These initiatives led to a 44% decrease in the rate of severe hypoglycemia and a 66% decrease in repeat episodes.

The “Commit to Zero” Safety Program at Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York in New Hyde Park received the Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety in the category of hospitals with less than 200 beds.

By developing ten hospital-acquired condition (HAC) prevention teams, Commit to Zero focused on eliminating preventable harm to patients. The hospital established a daily safety briefing to improve situational awareness at all levels and prevent risks from becoming accepted or routine, educated all team members in well-tested approaches to patient care, and launched a safety coach program that encourages peer checking and coaching as well as interventions to team members needing support.  From 2012 to 2015, the Commit to Zero program resulted in a 75% decrease in serious safety events, a sustained decrease in the facility’s serious safety event rate, and an increase in comfort of escalation, teamwork, and climate of trust.

Bassett Medical Center and Bassett Medical Group’s Improving Quality, Outcomes, and Efficiencies for End-Stage Renal Disease (ERSD) Patients through the Utilization of a “Right Fit Program” Strategy won the Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety for the post-acute or outpatient provider category.

In 2014, an interdisciplinary team assessed the network dialysis program and identified variables contributing to higher incidence of blood loss during treatments, which were resulting in higher dosing of medications to stabilize this already compromised patient population.  By completely converting to dialyzers with smaller surface area and increased clearance of toxin efficiency, there was a 19% reduction in mortality, 17% improvement in hospitalizations, 40% improvement of fluid management, 173% improvement in serum albumin, and a 30% reduction in use of erythrocyte stimulating agents, resulting in 15 million less units of this medication used across the network dialysis programs.

HANYS congratulates the Pinnacle Award winners.


Melissa Mansfield
Associate Director, Public and Media Relations

The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) is the only statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York State, representing 550 non-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, and other healthcare organizations.