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YNHHS wins American Hospital Association's prestigious Quest for Quality Prize

AHA Quality

(l-r): Marna Borgstrom, CEO, YNHHS; Thomas Balcezak, MD, chief clinical officer, YNHHS; Steven Choi, MD, vice president and chief quality officer, YNHHS; Christopher O’Connor, president, YNHHS; Beth Beckman, DNSc, chief nurse executive, YNHHS; and Keith Churchwell, MD, executive vice president, YNHHS and president, Yale New Haven Hospital


Yale New Haven Health recently won the American Hospital Association’s 2021 Quest for Quality Prize for healthcare leadership and innovation in improving quality and advancing health in communities.

A multi-disciplinary committee of healthcare quality and patient safety experts chose YNHHS for its exemplary achievements, including addressing social determinants of health, using data to drive quality improvements, and engaging employees in quality improvement work. YNHHS was recognized July 28 at the virtual AHA 2021 Leadership Summit. 

“We are honored to receive this prestigious award, which is a testament to the commitment of our doctors, nurses and all employees to providing the safest, highest-quality and most advanced care,” said Steven Choi, MD, vice president and chief quality officer, YNHHS. “COVID-19 presented enormous challenges, but also spurred our health system to come up with creative solutions to meet the most pressing needs of our patients, community members and employees.”

“This year’s winner and finalists have been remarkable leaders in elevating the quality of care they provide each day to their patients and communities. During the pandemic – when they were experiencing surges in patients – they employed innovative techniques to ensure the highest quality of care for COVID-19 patients,” said Rick Pollack, AHA’s president and CEO. “Their organization-wide commitments to excellence in improving care and health are a model for the entire hospital field.”

Yale New Haven’s commitment to improving the health of its patients and communities includes a philosophy that every employee participates in quality efforts. YNHHS is a leader in using data to drive quality improvement, for example, employing a system-wide approach to addressing the opioid crisis that led to a 25 percent decrease in intravenous opioid administration and a 20 percent decrease in opioid prescriptions at discharge.
 
During COVID, the health system used data to identify by zip code where to deploy staff and allocate vaccines, particularly in communities hit hard by the pandemic. In addition, within days of Connecticut’s first COVID-19 diagnosis, YNHHS developed a call center so people could quickly get answers to a range of questions. During COVID-19, YNHHS also supported patients at home, providing pulse oximeters to people in the community so they could self-monitor their oxygen levels and contact their healthcare provider if levels got too low. 

Yale New Haven Health is involved in numerous efforts to address social determinants of health, and has worked hard to promote its healthcare professionals’ well-being, through programs to support emotional health and stress relief, especially during the pandemic. 

“This year’s winner and finalists are making a significant impact in their local communities and creating better, safer environments for patients and health workers alike,” said Jeff Surges, CEO of Quest for Quality Prize sponsor RLDatix. “We particularly congratulate Yale New Haven Health, who during an unprecedented year, created new and unique ways to stay connected to patients and ensure the well-being of staff.”