UNM Hospitals

The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) and The DAISY Foundation have honored nurses at University of New Mexico Hospital for their work to improve patient care through electronic health records.

UNM Hospital is one of two recipients to receive the international 2016 National Safety Patient Foundation DAISY Awards for Extraordinary Nurses. The Clinical Informatics Council at UNMH will accept the team award at the 18th Annual NPSF Patient Safety Congress in Scottsdale, Arizona, May 23-25. Rachel Whittaker, a nurse at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora, will receive the individual award.

“Accurate clinical documentation that can be used across the continuum of care is critical to the best patient outcomes,” said Sheena Ferguson, chief nursing officer at UNM Hospital. "The award recognizes our nurses taking the leadership role in creating a practice standard that ensures clinical documentation facilitates delivery of those outcomes. Congratulations to the entire clinical informatics council for its unique contribution to outstanding nursing care.”

The DAISY Foundation honors nurses in more than 2,200 health care facilities in all 50 states and in 14 other countries with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. Those who received The DAISY Award between January 2014 and June 2015 were eligible for the 2016 international award with NPSF, which places special emphasis on patient and workforce safety.

The award “is a wonderful way to formally recognize and celebrate exceptional contributions to patient safety by nurses,” said Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, the foundation's president and chief executive officer. “We congratulate all of this year’s nominees for their outstanding work and commitment to their patients and to providing safe health care."

The council at UNM Hospital initially received its institution’s DAISY Award for its impact on the organization's electronic health record system and the processes it pursued to improve patient care.

In support of the council’s nomination for the national award, Ferguson noted the hospital’s efforts to address safety issues, including an alert designed to prevent complications from ventilator use, a Pediatric Early Warning Score to predict a deteriorating patient and a streamlined method for documenting wounds.

Ferguson noted the procedures led to a “huge improvement” in patient safety because they enable various disciplines to document wounds in the same place with consistent terminology.

“Choosing the final honorees for this international award was difficult because we had so many inspiring stories of truly compassionate nurses making a difference in patient and workplace safety,” said Bonnie Barnes, co-founder and president of The DAISY Foundation, who added that the partnership with NPSF brings “broad attention to their efforts.”

The National Patient Safety Foundation DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses was made possible by a three-year grant from Hill-Rom, a global provider of clinical technology and patient safety solutions.

The National Patient Safety Foundation’s vision is to create a world where patients and those who care for them are free from harm. Since 1997 the foundation, an independent and not-for-profit organization, is a central voice for patient safety. It partners with patients and families, the health care community, and key stakeholders to advance patient safety and health care workforce safety and disseminate strategies to prevent harm.

The DAISY Foundation was created in 1999 by the family of J. Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 of complications of an auto-immune disease - hence the name, an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. Barnes received extraordinary care from his nurses, and his family felt compelled to express their profound gratitude for the compassion and skill nurses bring to patients and families every day.