Contacts: Marie Watteau, AHA (202) 626 2351      
                  Kris Fortner, McKesson (415) 983-8352


Quest for Quality Prize Recognizes Leadership and Innovation in Quality Improvement and Safety

WASHINGTON, DC (July 18, 2011) - Five U.S. hospitals were recognized today for their leadership and innovation in quality improvement and safety.  The 2011 American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize® was awarded to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., which will receive $75,000.
Memorial Regional Hospital, which serves patients and communities in south Florida, was selected by a multi-disciplinary committee of health care quality and patient safety experts based on its culture of quality and efforts to achieve the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) six quality aims for health care.

AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, N.J. and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago were honored as the finalists and will each receive $12,500. Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance, Calif. and Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle received the Citation of Merit.
The American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize is presented annually to honor leadership and innovation in quality improvement and safety. The prize is supported by a grant from the McKesson Corporation.

Criteria for the 2011 award include the demonstration of an organizational commitment to and progress in achieving the IOM's six quality aims. One goal of the award is to honor organizations that are making progress in quality improvement and that offer models that can be replicated by others in the hospital field.  Relevant learnings and key elements for achieving progress that have stood out among the current and past honorees include recognizing that:

  • organizational leadership is critical,
  • what is measured is what gets attention, and
  • patient and family involvement is integral to quality improvement.

"Hospitals' top priority is improving care and ensuring it is safe, patient-centered, effective, efficient, timely and equitable for all patients," said Rich Umbdenstock, AHA's president and CEO.  "The nation's hospitals continuously work to improve quality.  The hospitals we recognize today are using sustained efforts and achieving high results that enhance care for patients in their communities."

"McKesson applauds this year's winners for their exemplary performance in delivering on the Institute of Medicine's six quality aims," said John Hammergren, chairman and CEO, McKesson Corporation. "These institutions demonstrate what can be accomplished through strong organizational leadership and a system-wide commitment to quality and patient safety. We are honored to support this award for the tenth consecutive year and hope the results achieved by this year's finalists will pave the way for continued advancements throughout the industry."

2011 AHA-McKesson Quest for Quality Honorees

Prize Winner: Memorial Regional Hospital - Hollywood, Fla.
Provide safe, high quality, cost-effective and patient- and family-centered care-that mission is what drives employees at Memorial Regional Hospital to achieve service and operational excellence.  The hospital is being honored for its work on access to care for all community members and on patient- and family-centered care as a model for other hospitals to follow.  The efforts by Memorial Regional Hospital to ensure that patients and families are included in care decisions reflect its commitment to the individuals and community it serves.

Memorial Regional Hospital's emphasis on engaging staff-from the medical team to the front line employees-is an integral part of delivering excellent patient care and has led to positive quality outcomes.  The hospital also is improving quality by working to cut readmissions, with three people calling patients post-discharge, including the medical director whose call focuses on symptoms and other medical triage.

Finalist:  AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center - Atlantic City, N.J.
AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center's culture of quality improvement and safety is a testament to the hospital's commitment to provide excellent care.  The hospital is being recognized for its dedication to building trusting relationships with employees and patients by providing care that reflects the diversity of the patients it serves.  In addition, the hospital recognizes the need to ensure that all who need care have access and its "medical home" for patients with chronic conditions has improved health outcomes while reducing costs for these patients.

Finalist:  Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago
Northwestern Memorial Hospital is being recognized for its strong commitment to promoting high quality care through collaborative efforts emphasizing strong physician-nurse partnerships. Everyone at the hospital - from hospital board members to patients and families - is engaged in making quality and patient safety goals the top priority. The hospital's board is integrally involved in setting goals and monitoring the quality of care and services. Quality and safety goals seek to enhance clinical improvement and accountability and are also vetted through the Patient and Family Advisory Council.

Citation of Merit: Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center - Torrance, Calif.
Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance (PLCMMCT) is being recognized for its organizational improvement goals and strategic approach to achieving them and creating an environment where all caregivers participate in developing strategies to enhance quality of care.  At PLCMMCT, the medical staff and administration make decisions collaboratively and are actively engaged in pursuing quality and patient safety objectives.  PLCMMCT takes a holistic approach to improving care, from emphasizing palliative care to offering staff yoga programs in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Citation of Merit: Virginia Mason Medical Center - Seattle
Virginia Mason Medical Center is being recognized for its focus on continuous quality improvement and adapting the Toyota Production System to enhancing patient-centered hospital care.  A strong and engaged board ensures patient safety is a major focus at Virginia Mason.  Each board meeting is opened with a patient story, with the patient or a family member presenting whenever possible.  The focus on quality improvement has led to reducing the time for patients to receive lab results, faster medication distribution and more nursing time spent on direct patient care.

About the AHA
The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities.  The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include almost 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care.  Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.  For more information visit the Web site at

About McKesson Corporation
McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 14th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality healthcare by reducing costs, streamlining processes, and improving the quality and safety of patient care.  Over the course of its 177-year history, McKesson has grown by providing pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; healthcare information technology for hospitals, physicians, homecare and payors; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve outcomes for patients.  For more information, visit .