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Texas Health Wins National Patient Safety, Risk-Management Awards

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Health Resources, the largest health care system in North Texas in terms of patients served, captured three of six national “2010 Premier Patient Safety and Risk Management” awards, which were presented yesterday in Washington, D.C.

“These awards bring recognition to three very deserving initiatives,” said Douglas D. Hawthorne, FACHE, CEO of Texas Health. “Patient safety and risk management are two of our top priorities, and I am proud of each and every staff member who has contributed to important patient safety initiatives like these.”

Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth was honored with a $10,000 prize for “The Breath of Life: Using Bubble CPAP to Decrease Chronic Lung Disease in Premature Infants.” Bubble CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is a type of respiratory support used to deliver airflow and pressure to an infant’s lungs via short prongs in the nose. The system has helped improve respiratory outcomes for babies born prematurely whose lungs are underdeveloped. The average length of hospital stays for these infants decreased by six days.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano received a $10,000 award for “Addressing Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Patients at Risk for Post-Surgical Complications.” Patients with sleep apnea have an increased risk of breathing difficulties after surgery. In order to better identify patients who may not realize they have the condition, Texas Health Plano developed a program to screen patients in pre-operative areas for obstructive sleep apnea.

The hospital also shared the screening practice with other hospitals throughout the Texas Health system. As a result, Texas Health hospitals have consistently increased identification of patients at risk for breathing problems after surgery and decreased the incidence of post-operative respiratory failure.

The Texas Health Resources system was awarded a $5,000 prize for the Patient Safety Direct Observations Program. This innovative program uses a patient safety observation methodology adapted from the nuclear power industry, which is known for its reliability principles and error-reduction in a highly complex environment.

"The methodology has been used broadly across our hospitals to help us gain an independent assessment of compliance with a variety of patient safety processes. Since the Patient Safety Direct Observations Program began six years ago, we have seen a steady reduction in errors and an increase in patient safety within the Texas Health system," Hawthorne said.

“These programs are just three examples of the tremendous work done at each of our hospitals,” he said. “I look forward to continuing innovation in this area.”

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health is a partner in eight additional hospitals or surgery centers. Texas Health Physicians Group provides a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas SingleSource Staffing is a joint venture designed to help Texas Health hospitals improve patient care by recruiting and retaining quality nurses and allied healthcare professionals. For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit

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