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Johns Hopkins Medicine
Office of Corporate Communications
Media Contact:  Gary Stephenson

"Quest for Quality" Prize Rewards "Culture of Safety"

The American Hospital Association recognized The Johns Hopkins Hospital today for its leadership and innovation in quality, safety and commitment to patient care with one of its coveted Quest for Quality prizes. 

The prize, supported by grants from the McKesson Foundation and McKesson Corporation, was created to encourage innovative patient safety programs that hospitals can copy.  Award criteria included demonstrated excellence in organizational patient safety efforts related to patient and family involvement, patient and family communication, leadership, strategic planning, information and analysis, human resources and process management.

Hopkins was one of only four finalists out of a field of 70 and one of only three to earn a cash award, which will be used to further patient safety initiatives at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

"Each hospital recognized today has taken a slightly different path to achieving a culture of safety," said Dick Davidson, AHA's president.  "But each has successfully created a new culture - one based on trust, understanding and openness.  That culture goes a long way to improving the care patients receive."

In making its award, the AHA cited The Johns Hopkins Hospital's "strong leadership commitment to patient safety" and its openness with the community and patients about safety and error issues.  In addition, the AHA noted that Hospital staff is strongly involved and empowered on safety issues, and there are structured processes for innovation and exploration of potential safety improvements while The Hospital prides itself on its openness and transparency on quality and errors.  "Johns Hopkins has created a medical error disclosure policy that outlines the responsibility of health care professionals to report errors in good faith, the need to take a systems approach to investigation, the patients' right to receive information about medical errors, and the organizational need to balance non-punitive reporting with professional practice patterns that require disciplinary action," the AHA said.

In addition, the AHA noted that as an academic medical center, The Johns Hopkins Hospital implemented an interdisciplinary approach to safety and quality in the curriculums of the schools of medicine, nursing and public health.

"We are especially pleased and proud to receive this recognition," says Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine.  "Patient safety is our top priority at Hopkins, and it's gratifying to see the efforts of our faculty, nurses and staff to improve safety and reduce errors throughout Hopkins recognized with this award."

"At Hopkins, it's not enough to improve patient safety using conventional approaches," says Edward D. Miller, M.D., CEO and dean of Johns Hopkins Medicine. "We are seeking to revolutionize the entire concept of patient safety within the full spectrum of patient care. We are striving for a total hospital system that is patient-centered and safety-centered in every aspect of patient care. It's not enough to reduce errors in a few key areas or in a few high-risk areas; the entire care delivery and supporting systems must be designed with the ultimate goal of zero mistakes."

A multidisciplinary committee of health care experts selected award recipients and honorees.  For more information on the award, including the 2005 Call for Nominations and award application, visit the Quest for Quality Web site at . Three other hospitals --  Sentara Norfolk Hospital in Norfolk, Va; Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital in Hastings, Neb; and Advocate Health System in Oakbrook, Ill., also received the award.

About the 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 include almost 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, and networks and other providers of care.  Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.  For more information visit the Web site 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 Fortune 35 corporation, which is the world's largest supply management and health care information technology company.  More information about McKesson is available at