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Joint Commission and National Quality Forum establish the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Awards

The National Quality Forum and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) have announced the establishment of the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Awards. The awards, which are named in memory of the director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, will recognize individuals and health care organizations that have made significant contributions to improving patient safety.

Dr. Eisenberg, who died this past March, was a leader and pioneer in promoting patient safety, and played a central role in launching the National Quality Forum (NQF). He was a strong advocate as well for the Joint Commission's patient safety initiatives.

Up to four John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Awards will be presented each year, one to recognize individual lifetime achievements in patient safety and three in the categories of advocacy, system innovation, and research. Awards will be made only to those who meet the award criteria and, thus, will not necessarily be given in each category every year. An expert panel will select the recipients.

To be eligible for the lifetime achievement award, nominees must have demonstrated exceptional leadership and scholarship in patient safety during their careers. Nominees for the categorical awards may be individuals or organizations who have made significant contributions to patient safety through:

Advocacy—the promotion of efforts to intercede on the patient's behalf through legislation, the media, ombudsman activities, or other similar initiatives.

System innovation—the introduction of system changes or interventions that make the environment of care safer through attention to organizational culture, education of staff and/or patients, or technology, or procedural innovations, among others.

Research—scholarly or scientific investigation of patient safety-related issues that might focus on systems theory, technology, or data analyses, among others.

Nomination forms for the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Awards are available from JCAHO's Customer Service Center by calling (630) 792-5800, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT, weekdays. Completed forms should be mailed to John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Awards, c/o Division of Research, JCAHO, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181. The deadline for receipt of nominations is July 15.

The 2002 awards will be presented at the NQF annual meeting on October 1-2 in Washington, DC. Thereafter, presentation of the awards will rotate between the annual meetings of the two sponsors. Questions may be E-mailed to EisenbergAward@jcaho.org.

The NQF is a private, nonprofit public benefit corporation created in 1999 to develop and implement a national strategy for health care quality measurement and reporting. The NQF has broad participation from all parts of the health care industry. Dr. Eisenberg served on the NQF Board of Directors.

Founded in 1951, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides health care accreditation and related services to support performance improvement in health care organizations. The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits nearly 18,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including almost 11,000 hospitals and home care organizations and 7,000 other organizations that provide long-term care, assisted living, behavioral health care, laboratory services, and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also accredits health plans, integrated delivery networks, and other managed care entities.

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