Press Release

Three Hospitals Honored for Commitment to Quality

Three U.S. hospitals were recognized today for their leadership and innovation in quality, safety and commitment to patient care.  The 2010 American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize® was awarded to McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, S.C., which will receive $50,000.  McLeod Regional Medical Center, which serves patients and communities in northeast South Carolina, 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.  Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit was honored as the finalist and Queens Hospital Center in Jamaica, N.Y., 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 a grant from the McKesson Corporation.  The criteria for the 2010 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.

“Each hospital recognized today has taken a slightly different path in its efforts to improve quality and patient care,” said Rich Umbdenstock, AHA’s president and CEO.  “But each has successfully created a new culture– one based on trust, understanding and openness. That culture is absolutely essential in the continuous process of improving patient care, ensuring that care is always the safest and of the highest quality it can possibly be.  Their innovation and commitment to quality improvement highlight that every day, hospitals are leading the way to better health and health care.”

Prize Winner: McLeod Regional Medical Center – Florence, S.C.

McLeod Regional Medical Center has engrained all six of the Institute of Medicine’s quality aims into its clinical, service and operational improvement and the hospital’s governing board, medical staff and executive management closely collaborate on quality improvement initiatives.  Coordination and teamwork between the leadership and front-line caregivers, as well as a focus on patient-centered care, are vital to the 453-bed organization’s success.

In particular, the number one agenda item at every board meeting and at a weekly senior executive meeting is a discussion of methods to improve care, progress in performance improvement initiatives, challenges the hospital may be facing and potential solutions.

  • Since being awarded the American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Citation of Merit in 2007, the hospital has intensified its commitment to clinical, operational and service excellence.  Employees work ceaselessly to provide safe, high-quality care and the hospital continuously seeks out change methodologies that are reliable and effective.
  • McLeod Regional Medical Center rigorously and systematically collects and uses data in all aspects of patient care and quality improvement, focusing on system-level improvements.  Special teams of staff members who work in areas unrelated to a specific improvement initiative oversee operational effectiveness projects to provide new perspective to the process.

Finalist:  Henry Ford Hospital – Detroit

  • Henry Ford Hospital has embedded the six Institute of Medicine aims in all of the organization’s safety and process improvement efforts.  The aims help the organization achieve its vision to provide the level and manner of care that employees would want for themselves and their families.   The hospital also stays actively involved in local and national organizations and improvement initiatives to ensure they’re doing all they can to provide the best care possible to their patients and community. 
  • In particular, in 2007 the hospital adopted a “No Harm” campaign that focuses on enhancing the culture of safety, improving the clarity of clinical communications, identifying the top causes of harm as a hospital and along the continuum of care and redesigning care to prevent harm.

  • Henry Ford Hospital works closely with community members to create a care environment that reflects the specific needs of the people they serve.  For example, to serve the needs of the large Arab-American population in the Detroit area, the hospital has partnered with a community services organization to establish the Arab Community Center Obstetrics Clinic with Arabic-speaking female staff to encourage women to seek care.   At the same time, there is a consistent approach to improving care throughout the hospital and has established equity as a key, measurable aspect of quality improvement. 

Citation of Merit:  Queens Hospital Center – Jamaica, N.Y.

  • Queens Hospital Center is being recognized for its exceptionally effective approach to reducing disparities in care through its strong community ties and accountability to the community it serves.  Efforts to eliminate disparities in care and to serve a culturally diverse community include the opening of a state-of-the-art cancer center in 2002 due to an unusually high level of cancer being identified in late stages because many local residents lacked access to preventive care.   A Center of Excellence in Diabetes was also opened to address the high incidence of diabetes in the community.

About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 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. For more information, visit the AHA website at

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