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UPMC Hospitals Honored with Achievement Awards in Patient Safety and Community Benefit

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 2, 2013 – The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) honored two UPMC hospitals with 2013 Achievement Awards. UPMC St. Margaret, recognized for patient safety, and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC, recognized for community benefit, were among the 19 hospitals and organizations honored across the state for innovation, creativity and commitment to patient care.
The HAP Achievement Awards program recognizes health care professionals who have developed innovative, adaptable projects that enhance patient satisfaction and health care quality, and produce cost savings as well as other efficiencies. The achievement awards program also facilitates networking and idea sharing among members and highlights the commitment of hospitals and health systems to their patients, communities and employees. The teams involved from UPMC St. Margaret and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC) will be honored in an award ceremony this fall. HAP chose the hospitals among this year’s 131 entries.
HAP recognized UPMC St. Margaret for its fall-reduction initiative aimed at reducing the occurrence of falls in seniors (65 and over) by 20 percent. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths and nonfatal injuries among older adults in the United States. Falls with injury are the most frequently reported hospital-acquired condition and adverse patient events in Pennsylvania. UPMC St. Margaret leadership developed new intervention techniques such as post-fall debriefings with patients and staff and patient education on fall prevention. The team also used humor as an educational strategy and tool to promote learning in a nonthreatening environment; this included an animated video that featured a nurse educating a patient about fall risk. During the course of this intervention, falls with injury decreased by 44 percent among seniors.
“We are extremely proud of our fall-reduction initiative at UPMC St. Margaret, and this patient safety award demonstrates our commitment to exceptional patient care,” said Terri Petrick, president, UPMC St. Margaret.
HAP also recognized Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC (WPIC) for its submission, “Housing First: A Strategy to End Homelessness.” This initiative provides more than 250 housing arrangements, primarily apartments located across Allegheny County, to homeless families and individuals who live with serious and persistent mental illness in the county. Through U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants, federal leasing dollars are used as rental subsidies to provide homes and WPIC provides essential behavioral health support, assistance with navigating community services, and vocational support to maximize an individual’s success in their new housing arrangement. Year after year, the program consistently exceeds HUD benchmarks in the areas of participants remaining in the program and ending the cycle of homelessness, engaging in mental health treatment and aligning resources for themselves to support their future. 
“The homeless program at WPIC acknowledges the difficulties in becoming clean or seeking mental health treatment without having a roof over your head first,” said Ellie Medved, vice president of ambulatory operations at WPIC. “We are honored to be recognized for this important program.”
HAP is a statewide membership services organization advocating 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.
Details about the other award-winning programs are available online at

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