NHRMC and NHRMC Internal Medicine Residency Program Awarded for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality

May 01, 2017
WILMINGTON, NC – New Hanover Regional Medical Center and the NHRMC Internal Medicine Residency Program are part of a patient safety research group that received the prestigious 2016 John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality.

The award is presented annually by The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum (NQF), two leading organizations that set standards in patient care. NHRMC participates in the I-PASS Study Group, which represents more than 50 hospitals from across North America dedicated to improving patient safety by standardizing provider communication during patient handoffs to reduce miscommunication that can lead to harmful medical errors.

As part of a collaborative of researchers, hospitalists, and medical education specialists, NHRMC internal medicine residents, under the direction of Program Director Charin Hanlon, MD, and Clinical Assistant Professor Renuka Bhan, MD, helped refine a package of interventions that have been incorporated into the NHRMC electronic health record.

In a large multi-center study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, implementation of I-PASS was associated with a 30 percent reduction in medical errors that harm patients. An estimated 80 percent of the most serious medical errors can be linked to communication failures, particularly during patient handoffs. Handoffs occur at all changes of shift and whenever a patient changes location in a hospital.

As part of the national study group, NHRMC played a prominent role to help develop and study the I-PASS program.