CHA News

C. Duane Dauner Award Winner Announced

For quality & patient safety staff

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At the Hospital Quality Institute’s (HQI) annual conference earlier this week, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) was honored with the 2019 C. Duane Dauner Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in patient safety, quality improvement, and patient experience. SCVMC won for developing a program for the safe discharge of certain individuals experiencing homelessness.

The  SCVMC team’s winning entry was titled “Making an Impact with Post-Acute Care Transitions (PACT).” PACT embraces patient-centered care, looking beyond hospital stays and discharge to meet the ongoing needs of patients affected by homelessness, substance use disorders, and other mental health conditions.

Faced with overcrowding in its hospital and Emergency Department, SCVMC developed PACT to address a mismatch between patient demand and bed capacity. Their solution: transitioning patients to reserved nursing home beds while maintaining multiple levels of support and resources.

“Every hospital encounters this problem,” teammate Dr. Raymond Chan noted. “Hopefully this can be replicated by others. We want to share the secret.”

Since its inception, the PACT initiative has saved 5,000 bed days, cut the length of non-acute patient stays by 50 percent, reduced SCVMC’s readmission rate by eight percent, and saved $11 million.

Also recognized during the HQI conference were two C. Duane Dauner Award finalists. Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California was honored for its Surgical Care and Recovery: Impacting Postoperative Pain and the Opioid Crisis program, which has led to improved outcomes for patients including reduced lengths of stay, fewer readmissions, greater patient satisfaction, and a dramatic reduction in opioid use for patients undergoing major surgical procedures.

John Muir Health was recognized for its entry, “Sepsis Management for the 21st Century: Clinicians and Technology.” The John Muir team identified sepsis as an area of unnecessary clinical variation and saw an opportunity to improve patient care. The effort led to more than 50 lives being saved during an eight-month period.

Award submissions were required to demonstrate successful implementation of innovative strategies while also addressing sustainability and scalability of the work. For more information about the C. Duane Dauner Awards and to view a video on the PACT initiative, visit