“Be better tomorrow than we are today” is the goal of Northwell Health, a large system serving a diverse patient population in New York City and the surrounding suburbs of Long Island and Westchester County. The health system’s work to embed quality improvement across the organization and in community health initiatives was recognized at the AHA Leadership Summit last week as Northwell received the 2018 AHA Quest for Quality Prize. 
 
Committed to addressing the social determinants of health, Northwell encourages staff to help solve patients’ health and social challenges with a “Shark Tank” approach. This approach encourages staff to suggest innovations and ideas and then, if the idea is selected, funds implementation.
 
Northwell also maintains partnerships with a wide range of public health, nonprofit and government organizations to work collaboratively to improve community health. The health system uses a robust analytics effort to improve patient outcomes. And it shares community health data with other organizations, including competitors.
 
Diversity and inclusion are embraced in patient care and staff recruitment. About 40 percent of Northwell’s patient population speaks a language other than English, so important documents are available in 19 different languages. In addition, more than 1,000 employees have participated in unconscious bias training, including to share their new knowledge with colleagues. The health system has created a variety of employee resource groups – focused  on African-Americans, Chinese, Latinos, Koreans, LGBTQ, and military veterans, for example – to help inform health care-delivery decision-making.
 
The AHA Quest for Quality Prize recognizes hospitals and health systems that have been successful in aligning with the AHA’s Path Forward’s commitments to access, quality, value, partnership, well-being, and coordination and that provide models that can be replicated by other organizations. The prize is supported by RL Solutions. Read more about Northwell and four other honorees.