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Stony Brook University Medical Center (SBUMC) was selected by the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council (NSHC) to receive its inaugural "Excellence in Patient Safety Award," recognizing Stony Brook’s distinguished achievements in patient safety and quality improvement in decreasing sepsis mortality. The award was presented to SBUMC at the NSHC annual meeting for its submission entitled: "Increasing Detection and Standardizing Care for the Treatment of Severe Sepsis."

SBUMC engaged in the "Surviving Sepsis Campaign," via the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) Critical Care and High-Risk Patients Learning Collaborative. The Medical Center adopted and exceeded the campaign’s goal of a 25 percent reduction in mortality, experiencing a 33.7 percent reduction in the severe sepsis mortality rate when comparing patients admitted with this condition through the Emergency Department in 2007 versus 2006. At the same time, there was a 16.6 percent increase in compliance with the sepsis resuscitation bundle (a group of immediate diagnostic and treatment measures endorsed by the Society for Critical Care Medicine) and an 18.9 percent decrease in the average length of stay for such patients admitted through the Emergency Department. Length of stay reductions resulted in an estimated $3,500-$8,500 cost per patient savings.

In addition, SBUMC received an honorable mention for the same award for its initiative entitled, "Reducing Complications in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit by Optimizing Nutrition and Growth" which showed substantial improvement in head and body growth and improved time to oral feeding among our smallest infants weighing less than 1500 grams at birth.

"It is indeed an honor to be selected as a recipient in the inaugural 'Excellence in Patient Safety Award'," says Steven L. Strongwater, M.D., CEO of Stony Brook University Medical Center. "This accomplishment, as well as the honorable mention we received, demonstrate the powerful impact of teamwork among the medical staff, nursing, respiratory therapy, other clinicians and quality management staff."

The NSHC Excellence in Patient Safety Award nomination process was conducted in tandem with the Healthcare Association of New York’s (HANYS) Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety. Submissions for the Pinnacle Award were, with the permission of each hospital, also considered for the Excellence in Patient Safety Award. Nominees were required to submit a project summary and narrative that described the nominated quality improvement projects’ goals, innovation, methodology, leadership involvement, execution, achievements, and impact on organizational efficiency.

Twelve hospitals and health systems submitted 27 applications to HANYS and the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council for the award. The nominations were initially vetted and scored by the HANYS Pinnacle Award review panel. The top nine applications then were reviewed and scored locally by a three-judge panel. The nominations were scored for their impact on patient care and safety, innovation, adherence to quality improvement principles and methodologies, use of relevant process and outcome measures and systems through the improvement process, sustainability, evidence of cost-consciousness, and demonstration of effective use of human and material resources.

Stony Brook University Medical Center is the only academic medical center on Long Island. It comprises Stony Brook University School of Medicine and Stony Brook University Hospital, which is the only tertiary care hospital and Level 1 trauma center in Suffolk County. With 540 beds and 5,100 employees, it is the largest hospital in Suffolk County. The Heart Center performs the only open-heart surgery in Suffolk and the Cancer Center and Cerebrovascular Center attract patients from throughout the region with cutting edge diagnostic and treatment facilities. Stony Brook has Long Island's first kidney transplantation program and initiated the nation’s first Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center. The hospital is also the regional referral center for trauma, perinatal and neonatal intensive care, burns, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation, cystic fibrosis, pediatric/adult AIDS, and is the regional resource center for emergency management. Stony Brook’s Stroke program is certified by the Joint Commission and the NYS Department of Health; and, Stony Brook is home to the Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

A proud moment – Stony Brook University Medical Center accepts the inaugural "Excellence in Patient Safety Award," from the Nassau Suffolk Hospital Council. Pictured at left is Wendy Darwell, Vice President/Chief Operating Officer of the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council, and accepting the award for Stony Brook University Medical Center were (from left) Dr. Margaret Parker, Chair, Department of Medicine; Dr. William H. Greene, Chief Quality Officer; Dr. Steven L. Strongwater, CEO, SBUMC; and Grace Propper, Quality Management Practitioner for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

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