Executive Officer for US Dept of Veterans Affairs Patient Safety Center Wins NPSF Chairman's Award
Thursday, May 15, 2008
May 15, 2008 - The National Patient Safety Foundation Chairman’s Medal is awarded in recognition of emerging leadership in the patient safety field. The award recipient has demonstrated an ability to inspire and lead the change necessary to successfully implement patient safety improvements while creating a culture of respect, openness, learning and team dynamic. We are honored to present this award to Mr. Noel Eldridge, Executive Officer of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
Mr. Eldridge is receiving this award because he has demonstrated the ability to motivate diverse groups of individuals and organizations to implement patient safety initiatives within the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as abroad. One example of his outstanding work is his leadership in the development and implementation of the approaches to ensuring correct site surgery, which has been implemented throughout the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as in Australia and Denmark. This work serves as the basis for much of the Joint Commission’s Universal Protocol for Preventing Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure, Wrong Person Surgery™.
Another example of Mr. Eldridge’s leadership ability was the manner in which he attacked the problematic topic of hand hygiene. It goes without saying that healthcare professionals should wash their hands prior to taking care of the patient, however it is well documented that the compliance with appropriate hand hygiene protocols commonly ranges between 5 and 40 percent. He, once again, attacked this important problem in a systems-based manner that made use of a team based multidisciplinary approach. Mr. Eldridge engaged participation from physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers such as infectious disease professionals to identify many unrecognized barriers to the successful implementation of hand washing.
These are just a few examples of the many that could be offered to demonstrate the impact Mr. Eldridge’s work has had on patient safety on both domestic and international levels. His success stems not only from his meticulous preparation but at least as importantly from his deliberate efforts to include individuals and stakeholders from the widest range of backgrounds in the development and the implementation of patient safety initiatives.
The National Patient Safety Foundation® (NPSF) is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving patient safety and reducing medical errors through research, education and dissemination of programs. It is an unprecedented partnership of stakeholders working together to raise awareness and improve the safety of the health care system. The NPSF was founded in 1997 by the American Medical Association, CNA HealthPro, and 3M, with significant support from the Schering-Plough Corporation. For more information, visit www.npsf.org.