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Winthrop Earns the HANYS Pinnacle Award for Quality, Patient Safety

When members of Winthrop-University Hospital administration recently traveled to the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) Annual Conference, they had something special to look forward to.

During the June 24-26 meeting at the Sagamore on Lake George, Winthrop was presented the 2009 HANYS Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety (Large Hospital Category) from HANYS. The award was in recognition of the hospital’s program that changed medication ordering processes leading to a very successful implementation of a Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) system that dramatically enhanced patient safety and improved the quality of patient care. On hand to accept the award were John F. Collins, president and CEO of Winthrop, and Maureen Gaffney, RPAC, RN, Winthrop’s Chief Medical Information Officer.

“We are so proud of the work we do here at Winthrop, receiving this prestigious award recognized Winthrop’s commitment to patient safety,” said Gaffney. “Winthrop’s success was due to our patient-centric approach to developing technology that supports how we provide care to our patients. We believe that systems need to be built to provide our clinicians with the tools they need to manage their patients in a safe environment.  The improvement in our patient outcomes data support that this approach is effective and beneficial to our patients.”

In describing the initiative that earned the award for Winthrop, HANYS said, “Winthrop-University Hospital [was recognized] for Changing the Prescribing Culture Through Systematic Processes. The systematic approach to changing medication ordering process combined with an extensive CPOE system took ordering practices to the next level and allowed for a smooth transition to an electronic medical record. The system enabled comprehensive decision-support functions. In the area of medication management, the team built in guidelines, documentation for exceptions, restricted medications, high-risk medications, weight-based dosing, and decision support information.”

Established by HANYS in 2001 to recognize significant achievements by hospitals in the areas of quality improvement and patient safety, the Pinnacle Award spotlights significant quality improvement achievements by member hospitals.

HANYS also published case studies from innovative hospitals in its annual publication Leading the Quest for Quality: Profiles in Quality and Patient Safety and among the 2009 entries was one from Winthrop concerning the reduction of adverse events through improved medication management. HANYS hopes that hospitals across the state can learn from these projects and consider ways to adapt them for implementation in their own facilities.

For additional information about Winthrop-University Hospital and its programs and services, call 1-866-WINTHROP.