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MedStar Health Sepsis Collaborative and Memorial Rehabilitation Institute named 2018 Sherman Award for Excellence in Patient Engagement Winners

Award conferred by recognizes excellence in patient engagement

Boston, MA (PRUnderground) May 24th, 2018

MedStar Health’s Sepsis Collaborative and Memorial Rehabilitation Institute’s Family in Training Program were named the winners of the fifth annual Sherman Award for Excellence in Patient Engagement at the IHI/National Patient Safety Foundation’s Annual Patient Safety Congress today.

The honor was conferred by Taylor Healthcare and the IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute on behalf of, the online community that sponsors the award. The Sherman Award recognizes innovative programs that are improving care and outcomes through patient and family engagement.

Additionally, Dayton Children’s Hospital Family Resource Connection was named the recipient of the Sherman Citation for Excellence in Pediatric Patient Engagement, a new honor focused on pediatric facilities.

“This year’s honorees demonstrate that engaging patients and families in care can have significant impact on outcomes,” said Mark O’Leary, president of Taylor Healthcare. “These programs ticked all the boxes for our judges: addressing critical issues, tremendous patient and family engagement and proven results. Their proactive approach led to concrete changes that improved patient care.”

Memorial Rehabilitation Institute

Memorial Rehabilitation Institute’s Family in Training program was created to address an increased number of family-related falls on Memorial’s 89-bed adult inpatient rehab unit. As families “roomed-in” and became more comfortable staying on the unit, they started helping their loved ones move from the bed to a wheelchair or to the toilet in part because they didn’t want to “bother” the staff. Families weren’t always prepared for the difficulty of the transfers and patients fell.

A proactive caregiver training program is now initiated early in the patient stay. Willing family members partner with a physical therapist, occupational therapist and nurse to receive hands-on training on five essential elements of care.

After achieving competence, the family member receives a bright orange band labeled “Family in Training,” which communicates to all staff that this family member is willing and able to independently assist their loved one. The program has decreased patient falls and families say they feel engaged, confident and proud in being able to help loved ones. And, fewer families have sent their loved ones to skilled nursing facilities after creation of the program.

“We are grateful for this recognition and award,” said Doug Zaren, Administrator and Chief Executive Officer, Memorial Regional Hospital South.  “Providing safe and quality care is an endeavor and a commitment that lies at the very core of our mission, and when we can partner with families to help us deliver that care to our patients and enhance safety, the outcomes are very positive.”

MedStar Health Sepsis Collaborative

More than 1.5 million Americans get sepsis each year and about 250,000 die—more than breast cancer, prostate cancer and AIDS combined, the CDC says. Being able to identify sepsis signs and symptoms is critical to getting patients the care they need to survive. The MedStar Health Sepsis Collaborative is a comprehensive quality improvement initiative that partnered with sepsis survivors and family members of patients lost to sepsis. MedStar’s Patient and Family Advisory Councils for Quality and Safety are key partners and are executing regional sepsis public awareness campaigns including stories shared through video. In addition to practice change and improved resident orientation, the program now is focused on improving emergency department processes related to identifying and treating sepsis. There is now standardized education for care providers, support staff and PFACQS members, a sepsis bundle compliance dashboard, automated orders and alerts and real-time surveillance tools. Public awareness efforts are being tracked and there is now Maryland legislation to develop a state-wide sepsis awareness campaign.

“It is an honor to receive this award on behalf of the providers, staff, patients and family members at MedStar Health who have joined together to improve the health of our community,” said Meena Seshamani, director, clinical performance improvement at MedStar Health. “It is only through the collaborative innovation of our system-wide teams and the courage of our patients and family members to share their stories that we are able to drive change.”

Special Recognition: Sherman Citation for Excellence in Pediatric Patient Engagement

Dayton Children’s Family Resource Connection

The Dayton Children’s Family Resource Connection uses a patient’s visit as an opportunity to evaluate and address non-medical issues that may impact health. The hospital trains student advocates from local universities in communication, engagement, respect and self-awareness. These advocates use a screening tool developed by the hospital to evaluate a family’s needs in a primary care clinic setting and then match them with available resources. Information gathered is entered in the patient’s electronic medical record so clinicians are aware of challenges and advocates follow up with families enrolled in the program every seven to 10 days. The program already has screened 3,000 families for social needs and engaged more than 1,800 patient families resulting in nearly 4,000 referrals and almost 700 documented resource connections.

Nominations were evaluated on their success in advancing patient engagement and driving results, sustainability, potential for replication, effectiveness in communicating and collaborating with stakeholders and inspirational value.

“This year’s awardees have shown how critical it is to involve patients and their families in harm prevention while in a health setting or at home,” said Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, chief clinical and safety officer, IHI and president of the Lucian Leape Institute. “Their stories also provide evidence that patients and families are often ready, willing, and able to participate in their own care and in the care of loved ones. We are very pleased to recognize their efforts and success.”

The independent judging panel also named finalists:: Allina Health’s Breast Program Committee (Minneapolis, Minn.), Lutheran Home of Southbury’s Music & Memory program (Southbury, Conn.), MedStar Health’s SiTEL program (Washington, DC); Cleveland Clinic’s Our Voice Healthcare Partners Team (Cleveland, Ohio); University Medical Center Groningen’s INVOLVED program (Groningen, The Netherlands), Health Central Hospital’s Patient and Family Advisor Rounding program (Ocoee, Fla.), Memorial Regional Hospital’s Mobility Team (Hollywood, Fla.) and Memorial Healthcare System’s Integrative Medicine program (Hollywood, Fla.).

During the coming months, will feature winners and finalists as bloggers. Full details are at

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