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UPMC Receives Four Achievement Awards from State Hospital Association

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 29, 2012 – A statewide organization that honors hospitals and health systems for innovation, creativity and commitment to patient care has lauded UPMC for its work on nurse retention, the creation of an energy and environmental engineering department and efforts to improve children’s access to behavioral health services.  

The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) honored UPMC with four 2012 Achievement Awards, a recognition that highlights hospital and health system best practices in a variety of areas. The association selected 17 winners among the 81 entries it received this year from across the state.

Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC (WPIC), in collaboration with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Children’s Community Pediatrics, received two awards, the Patient Care Award and the Innovation Award – HAP’s top honor – for a project called Early Access to Integrated Behavioral Health Services in the Pediatric Medical Home.

The WPIC project addressed a number of issues, including an increasing demand for behavioral health supports for children and their families, reports from pediatricians that children’s behavioral health challenges were being more commonly identified and the struggles that families faced in accessing behavioral health services for their children. In response, WPIC created an integrated behavioral health service in pediatric primary care. This required the senior leadership of three health service organizations — pediatricians’ offices, psychiatry and a counseling center — to come together to develop a model of care in which children could receive behavioral health and medical services under one roof and access empirically supported interventions.

Beginning with two master’s-level licensed therapists serving three pediatric primary care offices, the program has grown to include  10 licensed master’s- and doctoral-level multidisciplinary therapists embedded in 13 practices and is providing integrated care to the patients  of more than 150 pediatricians. The behavioral health clinicians operate under the supervision of five child and adolescent psychiatrists who themselves see patients in the primary care locations. The service provides access to behavioral and physical health services to more than 150,000 children and families in western Pennsylvania.

HAP also recognized UPMC with the Workplace Award for a project called Nurse Residency: A Sustainable Retention Strategy, which addressed the problem of new graduate nurse turnover within the first year of practice. Because nursing education, unlike the training model for medicine, pharmacy and other health care professions, lacks a standardized transition from trainee to practice or residency, turnover rates within the first year of practice can be as high as 61 percent nationally. UPMC developed an evidence-based, fiscally responsible transition-to-practice nurse residency program that reduced UPMC’s new graduate nurse turnover rates from 15.4 percent to 8.1 percent with an associated savings of $1.2 million annually.

HAP also honored UPMC with its Operational Excellence Award for its project, Creation of an Energy and Environmental Engineering Department Benefits Both the Corporation’s Bottom-line and the Atmosphere in the Communities It Serves. Through this project, UPMC demonstrated that it permanently eliminated the use of 7 million kilowatt hours of power plant generation and 14 million cubic feet of natural gas within the first eight months of the creation of its Corporate Energy and Environmental Engineering Department.

The HAP achievement awards program recognizes health care professionals who have developed innovative, adaptable projects that enhance patient satisfaction and health care quality, and that produce cost savings and other efficiencies. The achievement awards program also facilitates networking and idea sharing among members, and showcases the commitment of hospitals and health systems to their patients, communities and employees.

Details about the other award-winning programs are available online at http://www.haponline.org/.

HAP is a statewide membership services organization that advocates for nearly 250 Pennsylvania acute and specialty care, primary care, subacute care, long-term care, home health, and hospice providers, as well as the patients and communities they serve. Additional information about HAP is available online at www.haponline.org.

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