July 25, 2008

Munson Picks Up Another Top Award

By Vanessa Mccray, The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Mich.

Jul. 24--TRAVERSE CITY -- Munson Medical Center nabbed another hospital honor, this one from the American Hospital Association.

Officials from the Traverse City medical center are scheduled to accept the 2008 American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize at an event today in San Diego, Calif. Munson topped runner-up University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers to win the award and carry away its $75,000 prize.

"It really says we are heading in the right direction, and we need to keep doing more of what we are doing," said Ed Ness, president and CEO of Munson Medical Center.

Hospitals seeking the annual award are judged on six standards, including patient safety. Munson board of trustees member John Erb, of Northport, works on a patient safety committee. Erb said the hospital's desire to involve its board in safety matters "says something about Munson's openness" -- an attitude that contributed to its win.

"(The) source of pride here, for me, is what it means to our community. I hope that this is a message to our community, to patients and families that they can feel assured that they don't have to leave northern Michigan to receive the highest quality care in the nation," said Erb.

This year, Munson also was named by Thomson Healthcare to a list of 100 Top Hospitals for the tenth time.

More than 5,400 hospitals nationwide can compete for the association's award, which includes large and small facilities. In addition to the University of Michigan Hospitals, which placed as a finalist, health centers in Sioux Falls, S.D. and Erie, Penn. earned citations of merit from the association.

Pulmonary and critical care medicine Dr. Daniel Navin said it is "incredibly energizing and rewarding" to team with a hospital board and administration dedicated to quality care. Munson's ability to balance both fiscal responsibility and quality care impressed reviewers who visited the hospital before awarding it the prize, Navin said. The prize, in turn, can act as a recruitment tool to attract physicians and nurses to Traverse City, he said.

Munson received praise for studying its mistakes, the involvement of doctors and nurses and efforts to include the community while designing an emergency department and breast health center. Ness said the medical center sought the opinions of patients and families while it worked on those buildings and the new heart center patient rooms.

The hospital plans to use the $75,000 in prize money to help buy software to track quality measures. Ness said the purchase will enable the hospital to monitor patients' electronic medical records for such things as timely medication and "point out" any "opportunities for improvement."


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