Northwell Health and its children’s hospital, Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, have earned the Healthcare Association of New York State’s (HANYS) 2016 Pinnacle Awards for quality and patient safety.
Northwell was honored in the category of “a system or hospital with more than 500 beds” for its “Aiming for Zero” program focused on eliminating catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). CAUTIs are the most common type of healthcare-acquired infections, resulting in about 93,000 urinary tract infections annually in US hospitals and an estimated 13,000 deaths, according to research studies.
Cohen Children’s was honored in the “hospitals with less than 200 beds category” for its “Commit to Zero” safety program, which looks to eliminate potential harm to patients. Cohen Children’s organized 10 physician- and nurse-led teams focused on preventing hospital-acquired conditions. It also established a daily safety briefing to improve awareness for everyone in the hospital regarding safety issues, including highlighting patients at risk for hospital-acquired infections in order to prevent patient harm.
The quality and safety team educated all hospital staff in well-tested approaches to patient care to promote safety in patient care, and launched a “safety coach” program with coaches in each clinical area to support staff in practicing safety behaviors in real-time by checking each other’s work and intervening with those needing support. From 2012 to 2015, the Commit to Zero program resulted in a 75 percent decrease in serious safety events at Cohen Children’s, while also fostering a culture of teamwork, trust and openness in escalating patient safety concerns.
Northwell Health’s “Aiming for Zero” program focused on reducing catheter infections across the health system’s 15 acute care and children’s hospitals throughout the New York area. Catheters are used to drain urine from the bladder into a bag outside the body. From 2014-15, the initiative resulted in a 52 percent decrease in CAUTIs, only a single catheter-associated infection at its children’s hospital and a nearly 20 percent decrease in “indwelling” catheter days – indwelling are inserted inside the body and are typically used for patients experiencing urinary incontinence, urinary retention (those unable to urinate), and those recovering from surgery or another health problem.
The program also decreased antibiotic exposure to patients, decreased the risk of other infections that occur as a result of antibiotic resistance and reduced potentially life-threatening harm to patients. Because of the potential harm to patients, Northwell’s senior leadership prioritized a CAUTI initiative to eliminate intensive care unit (ICU) and non-ICU CAUTIs across acute care hospitals and the children’s hospital.
Since implementing these programs, Northwell Health has improved performance and significantly reduced hospital-acquired infections. More specifically, CAUTI has been reduced in 15 acute-care hospitals, and in both adult and pediatric intensive care units and non-ICU settings of care.
HANYS’ Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety recognize organizations that are playing a leading role in promoting improvements in healthcare delivery in New York State. The awards were presented at HANYS ‘s recent annual meeting in Lake George, NY. HANYS is the only statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York, representing 500 non-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and other healthcare organizations.
About the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York
Founded in 1983, Cohen Children’s Medical Center is a 202-bed hospital dedicated exclusively to the care of children. The specialists in the hospital’s national and international programs cover an entire range of specialties. State-of-the-art care for children’s medical, surgical, and dental needs are provided in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The facility is the largest provider of pediatric health services in New York State, serving 1.8 million children in Brooklyn, Queens, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties. For the 10th consecutive year in 2016, Cohen’s was ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's 2016-17 “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals” survey.