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Ascension recently received the Cheers Award for its implementation of the 2014-2015 Targeted Medication Safety Best Practices for Hospitals.

Earlier in December, Roy Guharoy, PharmD, MBA, Vice President, Clinical Integration, Chief Pharmacy Officer; Judy Henderson, Director, Care Excellence; and several pharmacy ministry leaders accepted award on behalf of Ascension.

The Cheers Awards, presented annually by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), honor individuals, organizations and companies that have set a standard of excellence for others to follow in the prevention of medication errors and adverse drug events. Ascension was honored for its comprehensive implementation of the 2014-2015 ISMP Targeted Medication Safety Best Practices for Hospitals – having scored 93 percent compliance versus the 73 percent national average, according to an ISMP survey.

Executive leadership made it a priority to integrate all six of the ISMP's targeted best practices into Ascension's hospitals' culture and operations, with the goal of improving patient safety and outcomes. Clinical and pharmacy leaders identified barriers to implementation, established multidisciplinary teams, held monthly coaching calls, and shared tools and resources. They also conducted pre- and post-surveys and engaged an independent consulting firm to evaluate compliance. This initiative resulted in an increase in best practice adoption at each practice site that was well above the national average.

"It was my honor to receive this award on behalf of all the ministry physician-pharmacist-nurse partners who made it possible," Dr. Guharoy said. "The Cheers Award would also not have been possible without executive leadership support, as we work together to achieve Ascension's Quadruple Aim of delivering exceptional health outcomes, an exceptional experience for the people we serve, and an exceptional experience for providers, at an affordable cost."

"This award demonstrates the commitment to quality and safety our patients have come to expect from Ascension," said Ann Hendrich, PhD, RN, FAAN, Senior Vice President, Chief Quality/Safety and Nursing Officer for Ascension. "Our multidisciplinary teams should be proud of the time and effort they put into this accomplishment."

Ascension leadership has committed to engage in the same process for the 2016-2017 ISMP best practices.

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