Three Hospitals Honored for Commitment to Quality

Quest for Quality Prize Recognizes Leadership and Innovation in Quality, Safety and Patient Care

Elizabeth Lietz, AHA – (202) 626-2284
James Larkin, McKesson – (415) 983-8736

Washington D.C. (Monday, July 20th 2009)

Three U.S. hospitals were recognized today for their leadership and innovation in quality, safety and commitment to patient care.  The 2009 American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize® was awarded to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Mich., which will receive $75,000.  Bronson Methodist Hospital, a 380-bed hospital serving patients and communities in southwest Michigan and northern Indiana, was selected by a multi-disciplinary committee of health care quality and patient safety experts based on its culture of quality and efforts to achieve the Institute of Medicine’s six quality aims for health care.  Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston was honored as the finalist and will receive $12,500.  Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., received the Citation of Merit.

The American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize is presented annually to honor leadership and innovation in quality, safety and commitment to patient care. The prize is supported by grants from the McKesson Foundation and McKesson Corporation.  The criteria for the 2009 award include the demonstration of an organizational commitment to achieving the Institute of Medicine’s six quality aims – safety, patient-centeredness, effectiveness, efficiency, timeliness and equity.  One goal of the award is to honor organizations that are making progress in quality improvement on all six aims and that offer models that can be replicated by others in the hospital field.  Relevant learnings and key elements for achieving progress that have stood out among the current and past honorees include recognizing that organizational leadership is critical, that what is measured is what gets attention and that patient and family involvement is integral to quality improvement.

“As the nation focuses on health care reform, hospitals know one of the best ways to help control costs is to improve the efficiency, safety and effectiveness of care provided to patients and the community,” Rich Umbdenstock, AHA president and CEO.  “Each hospital recognized today has taken a slightly different path in its efforts to improve quality and patient care, but they are all moving toward the same goal.  Their innovation and commitment to quality improvement highlight that every day, hospitals are leading the way to better health and health care.”

“In keeping with our commitment to improving quality, safety and efficiency throughout the healthcare system, McKesson Corporation and the McKesson Foundation are proud to support the American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize,” said John H. Hammergren, chairman and CEO of McKesson Corporation. “On behalf of all of our employees, I am pleased to recognize these three institutions for standing above their peers in delivering on the IOM’s six quality aims.”

Prize Winner: Bronson Methodist Hospital – Kalamazoo, Mich.
Bronson Methodist Hospital, a Baldrige Award winner and past AHA-McKesson Quest for Quality Citation honoree, focuses intensely on quality improvement and instilling a sense of this commitment throughout the entire hospital.  Bronson has engaged all staff members from hospital leadership to front-line caregivers in efforts to improve patient-centered care, timeliness, efficiency and effectiveness.

  • Bronson hospital encourages patients and their families to talk with doctors, nurses and other caregivers about the care a patient receives, knowing that patient-centered care is critical to improving quality.  Employees at Bronson also are encouraged to speak out if they have concerns about care that’s being provided and the staff receive the support and assistance necessary to improve care.
  • In addition, Bronson actively involves patients and family members on hospital committees and teams that focus on improving patient care.
  • Multidisciplinary teams review patient care practices and identify opportunities for improvement, which reinforces personal and organizational commitment and accountability to care improvement.

Finalist: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center – Boston

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has set a goal of eliminating all preventable harm by 2012 and has emphasized leadership and transparency to help the hospital move toward that important goal.  BIDMC’s strong values of reliability, safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness and equity are reinforced throughout the organization.

  • BIDMC has focused on individual accountability as a way to improve care.  All staff are encouraged to identify areas for quality and improvement and BIDMC provides training and follow-up to help ensure sustained care improvement.
  • Developing strong community relationships and being accountable to their community are an integral part of BIDMC’s approach to improving care.  The hospital’s leadership team is committed to being completely transparent with their community and publicly shares information on patient safety and quality improvement issues.

Citation of Merit:  Duke University Hospital – Durham, N.C.
Engaging front-line caregivers and sharing information about patient safety are the cornerstones of Duke University Hospital’s (DUH) commitment to care improvement.  Senior leadership also is strongly involved in quality and safety efforts, emphasizing strong physician and nurse team leadership.

  • Duke University Hospital’s Safe Choices program brings together hospital leadership with employees from the various hospital departments to talk about how each individual action can lead to care improvement.  The program reinforces personal responsibility, helping employees see that identifying safety improvement opportunities is part of each staff member’s job.
  • DUH brings together collaborative, interdisciplinary patient care teams based on the needs of the individual patient.  A patient resource manager helps organize the interdisciplinary team and works with the patient and family to help them understand their role in the care process.

About AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes more than 5,000 member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, and 38,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.

About McKesson Corporation

McKesson Corporation (NYSE: MCK), currently ranked 18th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality healthcare by reducing costs, streamlining processes and improving the quality and safety of patient care.  McKesson is the oldest company in healthcare today and will mark 175 years of continuous operation in 2008. McKesson provides pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; healthcare information technology for hospitals, physicians, homecare and payors; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve outcomes for patients.  For more information, visit us at

About McKesson Foundation

The McKesson Foundation supports community-based programs and services aimed at improving the health status of at-risk children and adults.  The Foundation is funded by McKesson Corporation, a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality healthcare by reducing costs, streamlining processes and improving the quality and safety of patient care.


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