2010 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award Recipients Announced

Wilmette, Illinois, UNITED STATES

OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL--(Marketwire - January 12, 2011) - The National Quality Forum (NQF) and The Joint Commission today announced the 2010 recipients of the annual John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards. Honorees were selected in four award categories.

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 one of the founding leaders of NQF and sat on its Board of Directors. In his roles both as AHRQ administrator and chair of the federal government's Quality Inter-Agency 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.

The honorees, by award category, are:

  • John H. Eichhorn, M.D. -- University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky

Dr. Eichhorn is being recognized for his work in improving the quality of anesthesia care and patient safety through the development and application of practice standards and protocols. His contributions have led to dramatic and sustained reductions in catastrophic intra-operative anesthesia accidents, as well as improved anesthesia patient safety and quality of care overall.

  • James L. Reinertsen, M.D. -- The Reinertsen Group, Alta, Wyoming

Dr. Reinertsen is being recognized for his life-long leadership in improving health care quality and safety in medical groups, hospitals and health systems. His teaching and guidance have stimulated the leaders of scores of health systems in the United States, Canada, and Europe to achieve and sustain dramatic improvements in mortality rates, nosocomial infections, serious harm events, and other important measures of safety.


  • Washington State Hospital Association, Seattle, Washington

This organization is being recognized for its Safe Tables Learning Collaborative program, which provides the fundamental infrastructure for Washington hospitals to share their experiences and learn from each other and from patient safety experts at the local and national levels. The program focuses on standardizing safety practices, preventing infections, improving hand hygiene, increasing staff influenza immunizations, creating rapid response teams, enhancing board leadership, and engaging patients and families in ensuring safe care and reducing readmissions.


  • The Children's Hospital at Providence Newborn Intensive Care Unit, Anchorage, Alaska

This organization is being recognized for its multi-year quality improvement project to eliminate catheter-related blood stream infection (CRBSI) in the neonatal intensive care unit. Improvement was accomplished incrementally over several years beginning with the elimination of CRBSI associated with umbilical catheters in 2007, peripherally inserted catheters in 2008, and surgically placed catheters in 2009. The organization achieved and sustained success through implementing best practices in conjunction with using clinical microsystems principles and creating a learning culture within the context of clinical practice.

"The innovative and exemplary work of these individuals and health care organizations hopefully will not only inform, but also inspire others to become champions of patient safety and quality improvement. Their achievements make it clear that substantial improvements can be made in patient safety," says Mark R. Chassin, M.D., FACP, M.P.P., M.P.H., president, The Joint Commission. "We applaud their commitment and courage in pursuing changes that have improved the lives of many."

"This year's recipients have all made significant contributions to improving patient safety and the quality of health care," says Janet Corrigan, Ph.D., M.B.A., president and CEO, NQF. "As organizations and as individuals, they have challenged the status quo and achieved meaningful results that can be replicated not just in the United States but around the world."

This year's awards will be presented February 25, 2011 at NQF's Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. An early 2011 issue of "The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety" also will feature the achievements of each of the award recipients.

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 9,700 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,800 other health care organizations that provide long term care, behavioral health care, laboratory and ambulatory care services. In addition, The Joint Commission also provides certification of more than 1,700 disease-specific care programs, primary stroke centers, and health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at www.jointcommission.org.

The National Quality Forum (NQF) operates under a three-part mission to improve the quality of American healthcare by:

  • Building consensus on national priorities and goals for performance improvement and working in partnership to achieve them;
  • Endorsing national consensus standards for measuring and publicly reporting on performance; and
  • Promoting the attainment of national goals through education and outreach programs.

For more information about NQF, visit www.qualityforum.org.

View the multi-media release here

Contact Information:

Media Contacts:
Elizabeth Eaken Zhani
Media Relations Manager
The Joint Commission