By Thomas Burke, M.D.

The American Hospital Association has begun accepting applications for the 2018 AHA Quest for Quality Prize. This award recognizes health care leadership and innovation in improving quality and advancing health in communities. The Prize was on hiatus for the past year while its focus and scope were updated to reflect the field’s broader emphasis on quality and improving health status. The 2018 application builds on the field’s work to improve quality and safety, and embraces hospital and health system efforts to “Advance Health in America” by:

• expanding access to affordable, equitable health, behavioral and social services

• providing quality, safe and efficient care that adds value

• partnering with patients and families, embracing diversity of individuals

• focusing on well-being and partnering with community resources

• ensuring coordination with seamless care propelled by teams, technology, innovation and data

The 2018 application also seeks to better understand how hospitals are working with local organizations and agencies to improve the health of their communities both by increasing access to care and addressing social determinants of health. Both health systems and hospitals are now eligible to apply for the Quest for Quality Prize. A hospital that is part of a system can apply on its own, as part of a system, or both.Quest for Quality Award

RL Solutions, a designer of health care quality and safety software, is the new sponsor of the Quest for Quality Prize as part of its overall role as the AHA Champion Sponsor for Quality — a brand-new designation that recognizes RL Solutions’ strong and long-standing alignment with the AHA’s mission, vision and strategic priorities. We hope your organization will consider applying for the award as both a recognition of your accomplishments and an assessment of your efforts to improve the quality of health and health care in your organizations and communities. Up to five hospitals/systems will receive site visits for consideration for honors. One winner will receive a $75,000 prize; up to two finalists will each receive $12,500; other site-visited organizations may also receive Citations of Merit.

Please visit the Quest for Quality website to learn more about the Prize and to download an application. Applications are due by midnight, Central Time, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017.

Thomas Burke, M.D., chairs the American Hospital Association Quest for Quality Prize Committee and is professor of gynecological oncology and reproductive medicine at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.