The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum (NQF) have announced the 2014 recipients of the annual John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards. The Awards were presented on March 23, 2015 at the NQF Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. For 2014, three recipients were selected and the recipient of the Award for Individual Achievement is Mark L. Graber, MD, FACP, senior fellow, Health Care Quality and Outcomes Program, RTI International and Editor in Chief of the journal Diagnosis.
The Eisenberg Awards recognize major achievements of individuals and organizations in improving patient safety and healthcare quality, consistent with the aims of the National Quality Strategy – better care, affordable care, and healthy people and communities. Better care in particular focuses on improving the overall quality by making healthcare patient-centered, reliable, accessible, and safe. The John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards were established in 2002 by the National Quality Forum (NQF) and The Joint Commission in memory of John M. Eisenberg, MD, Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Dr. Eisenberg was a member of the founding Board of Directors of NQF and an impassioned advocate for healthcare quality improvement. These annual awards perpetuate the enduring contributions of this healthcare and community leader by recognizing the achievements of individuals who have made significant contributions to improving patient safety and healthcare quality, and organizations that, through a specific initiative or project, have made an important contribution to patient safety and healthcare quality. The accomplishments of award nominees/applicants should be clearly linked to the principles that Dr. Eisenberg promoted throughout his career including: a) dedication to improving the quality of healthcare and patient safety, b) leadership in advancing methods for measuring and reporting healthcare quality, c) expanding the public’s capacity to evaluate the quality and safety of healthcare, and d) promoting healthcare choices based upon information about safety and quality. Eligible organizations include integrated health systems, individual hospitals, hospital systems, multispecialty group practices, health plans, community health organizations, patient advocacy groups, chronic care programs, and unit or business lines within an organization focused on healthcare or engaged in patient safety initiatives.
Mark L. Graber is recognized as a leader in bringing the role of diagnostic error to the forefront of the patient safety movement. He convened the Diagnostic Error in Medicine conference series, formed the nonprofit Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine and in 2014 founded Diagnosis as a new journal devoted to reducing the risk of diagnostic errors and improving patient safety. He also petitioned the Institute of Medicine to examine the problem of diagnostic error and its report on the issue is expected to be released this fall. Graber’s research studies and writings on diagnostic error are regarded as the foundation for the growing interest in improving diagnosis which will require partnerships and collaboration between providers, health care organizations and patients. He is the co-creator of Patient Safety Awareness Week, which emphasizes patient safety through celebrating achievements at the local level and providing education and awareness.
Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, President and CEO of the Joint Commission, commented on the award assigned to Mark L Graber highlighting “the leadership and dedication shown to improving patient safety is truly something to be proud of”.
I would like to emphasize that the impact of Mark’s work is remarkable, because his work has likely impacted on an incalculable number of patients by preventing harm across a wide spectrum of different clinical conditions and circumstances. In addition, Mark L. Graber has stimulated a huge number of physicians, care operators and patients to consider appropriately the issue of diagnostic errors and to search for tools able to reduce the risk of errors, namely errors that should lead to adverse events.
We are happy about and proud of this prestigious award that recognizes Mark’s permanent commitment and efforts in the field of diagnostic errors and patient safety.
©2015, Mario Plebani, published by De Gruyter
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