Stony Brook Celebrates HANYS Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety

Stony Brook University Hospital staff gathered on Sept. 6 to celebrate achievements in diabetes care. The group was recently honored with the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) 2019 Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety.

Presented annually, the Pinnacle Award recognizes organizations that play a leading role in promoting improvements in healthcare delivery in New York State. Stony Brook was one of five healthcare organizations selected from across the state in recognition of their outstanding initiatives that enhance patient care.

Stony Brook received the award in the category of “Health System or Hospital with Greater than 500 Beds” for its initiative “Quality Diabetes Care: Creating a Culture of Excellence Through Innovation.” Watch this video to learn more about the hospital’s program and results:

“Everyone moved toward a common goal, and it’s that journey together that’s proven most successful and most transformational for Stony Brook.”

“There was a great deal of thought in identifying opportunities for improvement with very focused approaches on enhancing patient outcomes,” said Carol Gomes, MS, FACHE, CPHQ, Interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Stony Brook University Hospital. “It’s the power of the team that helps to care for the patient, and I would like to thank the entire team for their commitment to improving the safety and quality of care provided to patients with diabetes at Stony Brook University Hospital.”

Transforming Diabetes Care

As part of the goal to transform care for patients with diabetes, the hospital assembled a multidisciplinary diabetes advisory committee, whose mission is focused on the implementation of three major pillars: system-wide education; a robust “glucometrics” reporting dashboard to monitor patients with diabetes and associated risk indicators; and standardized insulin order entry, policies and procedures.

“Our efforts have led to significant improvement,” said Joshua D. Miller, MD, MPH, Medical Director of Diabetes Care and Assistant Dean for Clinical Integration. “When a patient with diabetes is admitted to Stony Brook, our clinical staff recognizes the diagnosis and appreciates the impact diabetes has on that patient’s condition, hospitalization and plan of care.”

Dr. Miller said that adults with diabetes are usually hospitalized for other primary concerns with diabetes as a “secondary” diagnosis. The patient’s diabetes impacts that primary diagnosis significantly, and attention to diabetes care can profoundly impact the patient’s hospitalization and response to other therapies.

Improved Outcomes

Successful results of Stony Brook’s Diabetes Program include:

  • An institutional culture of excellence and awareness regarding the care of patients with diabetes through standardized policies, insulin order entry and administration, supported from leadership to the unit level.
  • An innovative, automated Tableau dashboard monitor to track real-time and historic glucometrics for patients with diabetes, including clinical indicators, outcome metrics and physician/unit/service-level care reports.
  • Significant improvements in system-wide diabetes outcomes, including a reduced length of stay index from 1.22 to 1.06, decreased readmission rates from 16.82 percent to 12.99 percent, increased hemoglobin A1c monitoring from 57 percent to 89 percent and decreased point of care glucose testing by more than 5,000 tests per month.

Additional Program Accolades

The HANYS Pinnacle Award comes on the heels of other accolades for Stony Brook’s diabetes program, including:

  • America’s Essential Hospitals (AEH) named Stony Brook as one of four national finalists in its 2019 Gage Awards competition, which recognizes healthcare organizations for implementing successful improvement projects and spreading best practices and innovative programs to other organizations. The Stony Brook team presented its program as a Noteworthy Project recipient at the AEH Vital 2019 conference held this past summer.
  • The program has also garnered national recognition from Vizient and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).
  • Stony Brook’s Diabetes Education Program, one of Long Island’s oldest and most successful programs, received reaccreditation from the American Diabetes Association’s Education Recognition Program through 2023. The program helps patients to achieve their goals in managing diabetes with many program participants lowering their hemoglobin A1c by as much as 1 to 2 percent.

A Growing Program

The Stony Brook diabetes program has expanded significantly in recent years, with additional members of the care team added regularly, including nurse practitioners, nutritionists and nurses — all certified diabetes educators. There are also diabetes champions on each inpatient unit. Access to and availability of group and individual diabetes self-management education to patients and the community have increased as well.

Dr. Miller said there are plans to increase access to diabetes education services throughout the Stony Brook Medicine health system.

“The diabetes education program at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital already operates in concert with ours,” he said. “Our plan over the next year is to extend services to Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital and on the East End. We are also deploying diabetes educators to our world-class outpatient facility, Advanced Specialty Care, in Commack.”