Three local teams were recipients of the fifth annual Fine Awards for Teamwork Excellence in Health Care. The awards were presented during a reception at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture Thursday, Nov. 8.
Sponsored by the Fine Foundation and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF), the Fine Awards were established to reinforce the critical role teamwork plays in health care. The theme of this year’s awards was “Transitions of Care Partnerships,” focusing on improving outcomes for patients who are transitioning in and out of, or between, different types of care settings and providers.
The Gold Award for Excellence in Transitions of Care was awarded to UPMC Montefiore and the Montefiore Rehabilitation Institute, Transplant Service Line, for Preventing Readmissions through Good Discharge Planning. Prior to the team’s project, the readmission rate for patients with complex post-transplant care needs was 43 percent, with more than four out of 10 patients being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days after discharge. Montefiore’s interdisciplinary team designed interventions using continuous improvement methods to transform a fragmented discharge process into a streamlined and highly communicative one, resulting in a dramatic reduction in readmission rates, to less than one in 10. The resulting combined cost savings in reduced hospitalizations resulted in a savings of more than $500,000 annually. Team members will share a $25,000 award. UPMC Montefiore and the Montefiore Rehabilitation Institute will each receive $5,000 for their support.
The Silver Award went to a team from Excela Health — Latrobe and Westmoreland Hospitals for Reducing Observation Status Wait Times. To address these issues, emergency department and acute care nursing teams collaborated to design new protocols, including the creation of dedicated patient observation units and 24/7 case managers. Combined with more rigorous screenings in the Emergency Department, reduced delays during transition periods and improved efficacy of care resulted in consistent and sustained reduction in patients’ length of stay when admissions were necessary – from an average of 28 hours down to 18 hours. Overall, more efficient care, fewer admissions, and shorter stays resulted in $1.5 million in savings. Members of the winning teams will share $15,000. Excela Health, Latrobe and Westmoreland Hospitals will each receive $4,000 as the supporting organizations.
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Children’s Community Pediatrics, and Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic of UPMC won the Bronze Award for Integrated Behavioral Health Services in the Pediatric Medical Home. Their efforts have resulted in improved and simplified access to mental and behavioral health care for pediatric patients and families, increased care provided directly by pediatricians, and improved overall quality and integration of care. Team members will share a $10,000 award. Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Children’s Community Pediatrics, and Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic of UPMC will divide a $6,000 award for their support.
Each of the winning teams will be featured in a short video included in the “Teachable Moments” collection of the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, a supporting organization of JHF. These concise, inspiring videos help to spread best practices in quality improvement and are distributed to more than 1,000 health care quality thought leaders in the United States, Canada and Israel.The Fine Foundation is a Pittsburgh-based family foundation established in 2007 by Milton and Sheila Fine.