Shore Health System and Sinai Hospital of Baltimore Recognized for Innovative and Successful Patient Safety Initiatives

Shore Health System is the 2012 winner of the Minogue Award for Patient Safety Innovation for its Target Zeroinitiative, which is reducing healthcare-associated infections and saving patient lives. In addition, Call, Don’t Fall, the comprehensive initiative for reducing patient falls at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore is being recognized with the Distinguished Achievement in Patient Safety Innovation Award, and eight other Maryland hospitals are being honored through the Circle of Honor for Patient Safety Innovation.

The Minogue Award, was presented at the 8th Annual Maryland Patient Safety Conference on April 3, was created by the Maryland Patient Safety Center Board of Directors to recognize an organization that has made a demonstrable difference in patient safety through an innovative solution. It is named for the Center’s first President and Executive Director William Minogue, MD, FACP to honor his enduring contributions and passion for improving patient care and safety. The Distinguished Achievement in Patient Safety Innovation Award and the Circle of Honor for Patient Safety Innovation, which honor and recognize other top patient safety solutions, was also presented at the Conference.

Target Zero, designed and implemented by Shore Health System, is a well-planned initiative that has saved lives by reducing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). After examining the infection rates at Dorchester General Hospital in Cambridge and the Memorial Hospital at Easton in 2009, the Shore Health Senior Leadership team challenged the organization to “reach zero” and eliminate all HAIs. Thus began Target Zero, the system-wide patient safety initiative.

The initiative was based on a comprehensive educational plan designed to help staff members understand how their role and their work processes can prevent infections, which is reflected in the slogan Target Zero: It Begins with Me. Whether an individual is a bedside caregiver or a member of the housekeeping staff, every single Shore Health employee, physician and volunteer has accepted responsibility and is part of the Target Zero team.

Unlike many other organizations, Shore Health System didn’t focus strictly on HAIs in the intensive care units of its hospitals. Target Zero encompasses all departments throughout the system, including the inpatient acute hospitals, all outpatient centers in a four-county region, and a home health agency. Organizational resources, both human and financial, were deployed for increasing hand hygiene compliance and eliminating device-related infections, mainly central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI).

Thanks to the Target Zero initiative, Shore Health System has experienced extended periods of time with zero infections, in particular CLABSI, CAUTI, and VAP. Each ICU and many other hospital-based nursing units, including the home care and hospice teams, have gone for periods of over a year (some even greater than two or three years) without a device-related infection. Additionally, Shore Health has seen reductions in every other healthcare-associated infection tracked, including MRSA, C-Diff, and VRE.

Sinai Hospital of Baltimore’s Call, Don’t Fall Initiative is the winner of the Distinguished Achievement in Patient Safety Innovation Award. Through this comprehensive falls prevention program, Sinai is reducing the rate of patient falls and spreading a culture of safety excellence within both the hospital and its parent organization, LifeBridge Health. In 2010, the organization set a goal of reducing the falls with injury rate to 1/1,000 patient days. Linking a reduction in falls with injury to the organization’s overall performance improvement was a key driving force behind the creation of the Call, Don’t Fall Initiative.

The Call, Don’t Fall Initiative began with education about the data, why people fall, and how to prevent falls. A multi-disciplinary committee was charged with rolling out an educational campaign for the entire organization. Drawing from best practices around the country – including what was learned through participating in the Maryland Patient Safety Center’s SAFE from FALLS initiative—the committee developed a comprehensive educational program for all members of the staff. Every single person in the organization learned about preventing falls and the role they could play in mitigating injuries.

Since Call, Don’t Fall was initiated; Sinai has experienced a steady decline in falls—not only meeting but exceeding the goal set for reducing the falls with injury rate.

Eight other Maryland programs were recognized as innovative solutions to keeping patients safe through the Circle of Honor for Patient Safety Innovation. They include:
– Sinai Hospital of Baltimore – Clinical Protocol Reduces CAUTI
– MedStar Union Memorial Hospital – rtPA in a Community Hospital: Same Old Protocol with a New Perspective
– Peninsula Regional Medical Center – Late Preterm Infant Initiative
– University of Maryland Medical Center – To-Go Meds for Preventing Return Visits in an Urban, Academic Medical Center ED
– MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital – Heparin Safety—A Staff-Driven Design
– Carroll Hospital Center – Decreasing Central Line-Related Bloodstream Infections
– Atlantic General Hospital – Improved Triage Throughput Process Improvement
– Mercy Medical Center – Weekly Safety Rounds: A Collaborative Approach to Patient Safety at the Bedside

“The hospital solutions being recognized and honored embody the spirit of the Minogue Award,” said Robert Imhoff, President and CEO, Maryland Patient Safety Center. “They are innovative, have shown demonstrable change, exhibit strong collaboration and leadership, advance the culture of patient safety, and constitute best practices that have the ability to spread. Our thanks and congratulations are extended to all of the hospitals and every individual within those organizations that are making a difference for patients.”

For more information about these programs, visit

About The Maryland Patient Safety Center
The Maryland Patient Safety Center brings together hospitals and health care providers to improve patient safety and health care quality for all Marylanders. The goal of the Patient Safety Center is to make Maryland’s health care the safest in the nation by focusing on the systems of care, reducing the occurrence of adverse events, and improving the culture of patient safety at Maryland health care facilities. For further information, visit