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Three Hospital Systems Earn Five-Star Award from Patient Safety Movement Foundation

Award demonstrates organizations’ commitment to eliminating preventable patient deaths

On the first World Patient Safety Day, the Patient Safety Movement Foundation (PSMF) announces that it has awarded Dignity Health, MedStar Health and the UPMC with its five-star award for making commitments in alignment with PSMF’s 18 evidence-based Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS). APSS include solutions designed to help hospitals eliminate preventable patient deaths. Preventable deaths are the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

“More than 200,000 patients die from preventable hospital errors in the U.S., and 4.8 million across the globe. Those numbers are simply not acceptable but also unthinkable,” said Dr. David Mayer, PSMF CEO. “Our 5-Star award acknowledges the commitment these organizations have made to achieve ZERO preventable deaths. The leadership demonstrated by these leaders is a model others can follow in instituting best practices in patient care.”

Dignity Health is the largest hospital provider in California with 39 hospitals, and part of the newly formed CommonSpirit Health, a nonprofit, Catholic health system dedicated to advancing health for all people. As part of CommonSpirit, Dignity Health continues to stand for excellent, affordable health care delivered with compassion.

“Dignity Health has been working to improve patient safety and clinical outcomes because we know what’s at stake—how critical this work is to the people who come to us for care,” said Robert Wiebe, MD, Chief Medical Officer for CommonSpirit Health. “We and other health systems strive to achieve zero preventable deaths, which is why we’ve implemented the APSS and many other initiatives.”

In keeping with the goals of the PSMF, Dignity Health has:

  • Improved compliance with and adoption of the sepsis bundle and reduced sepsis mortality
  • Reduced unnecessary cesarean sections for low risk deliveries
  • Reduced hypoglycemia events
  • Reduced hospital acquired infections
  • Reduced opioid induced respiratory depression
  • Achieved nearly full adoption of CANDOR across all Dignity Health hospitals and ambulatory settings

With 10 regional hospitals in Baltimore/Washington DC, MedStar Health earned its award for its role in the development of APSS in the areas of Culture of Safety, Falls and Fall Prevention, Patient and Family Engagement, Patient Safety Education and Early Detection of Sepsis.

Since implementing its patient safety improvement efforts, aligned with the PSMF APSS, MedStar Health has:

  • Reduced the number of serious patient safety events
  • Reduced the number of healthcare-associated infections
  • Increased and improved front-line reporting of events
  • Reduced the cost of care associated with serious safety events
  • Improved the early detection and treatment of sepsis

“As we continually find ways to improve patient safety and clinical outcomes, we look to extend these practices to other healthcare systems around the World,” said Stephen R. T. Evans, MedStar Health Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs & Chief Medical Officer. “We are proud of our partnership with the Patient Safety Movement Foundation and its mission to eliminate preventable patient deaths in hospitals. Through the APSS shared-learning model, all healthcare systems can move from information to action.”

UPMC, one of the nation’s largest integrated payor-provider systems, includes more than 40 hospitals and 700 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites. UPMC has developed new models of accountable, cost-effective, patient-centered care. This focus aligns perfectly with PSMF APSS. Its goal is to deliver the right care, in the right way, at the right time to every patient.

“Our mission is to consistently provide high-quality, safe and compassionate patient experiences,” said Tami Minnier, UPMC chief quality officer. “We strive to be leaders in continually improving quality and safety through education, best practices, leadership development and innovation.”

That approach has resulted in significant quality and safety improvements for the health system, including a reduction in central line associated blood stream and C. diff infections, a 9 percent decrease in sepsis-related mortality, a nearly 30 percent increase in systemwide hand hygiene compliance and a 29 percent reduction in wasted blood products, thanks to a reduction in non-evidence based transfusions.

“We are delighted to see Dignity Health, MedStar Health, and UPMC health systems are joining CHOC, Hospital Espanol, Parish Medical and UCI to be the first to implement all Actionable Patient Safety Solutions,” said Joe Kiani, PSMF Founder and Chairman of the Board. “To err is human, but these evidence-based processes can avoid human errors from becoming fatal.”

More than 4,600 hospitals in 46 countries have implemented the Actionable Patient Safety Solutions developed by the Patient Safety Movement Foundation’s workgroups. For more information commitment to action or the Patient Safety Movement, please visit




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