The Bernie - a QI award

The Bernard A. Kershner Innovations in Quality Improvement Award recognizes exemplary quality improvement studies conducted by AAAHC accredited organizations.

The deadline has been extended--applications for the 2017-2018 awards are being accepted through noon Central time, October 6.

To apply, please email a completed application or study in the AAAHC Standards 5.I.C "10 elements" format, along with a completed submission agreement

Criteria and Review Process

An Institute-designated Expert Panel will review all applications against criteria based on the 10 elements of QI reflected in AAAHC Standards and name six finalists in the Fall.

Each finalist will prepare a poster describing their study to present at the March Achieving Accreditation seminar. Attendees will cast ballots for their favorite and winners (both Kershner panel and "People's Choice") will be announced during the conference. All winning posters will be published in the Spring issue of Triangle Times.

The criteria against which the Expert Panel will judge submissions is:

1. Overall clarity and conciseness of the description of and/or rationale for:

* The quality issue addressed
* Appropriateness of the performance goal
* Data collected (performance measure[s])
* Data collection methodology
* Data analyses and conclusions
* Comparison of initial performance versus performance goal
* The development and implementation of corrective action, and, if necessary, additional corrective action
* Re-measurement, and, if necessary, additional re-measurement
* New current performance versus performance goal
* Methods of communication of the study findings throughout the organization

2. Evidence of: innovative thinking, working as as team, and setting an example that can be used in other ambulatory health care settings/for other ambulatory health care issues.

Recommendations of the Expert Panel will be submitted to the AAAHC Institute Advisory Committee for review and approval.  The decisions of the Committee will be final. 

Finalist Presentations

The representatives of the 6 selected studies that most closely reflect the criteria used by the Expert Panel will be invited to make poster presentations at the March 16-17, 2018 Achieving Accreditation program to be held in Tampa, Florida. In addition, the AAAHC Institute will award:* 

1. An honorarium of $500 (limit 1 per organization, 6 in total) for each poster presentation.

2. Complimentary registration (limit 1 per organization, 6 in total) for the AAAHC Achieving Accreditation program, which includes general and break-out education sessions, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 networking reception.

3. Awards for the organization(s) authoring the best study as selected by the Expert Panel and by the program attendees.

4. Publication of the posters in the AAAHC quarterly newsletter.

No other awards and/or compensation will be offered in lieu of those stated above. Meals (beyond those provided as part of the Achieving Accrediation program) and other expenses will be the sole responsibility of the winning organization(s).

Only submissions from organizations accredited by AAAHC, from June 1, 2017 up to and including March 31, 2018 are eligible for consideration. Organizations that employ an AAAHC Institute Advsiory Committee member are not eligible for this award program.  ** NOTE: Organizations may submit only one QI study for consideration. **

Due to the anticipated volume of submissions, the AAAHC Institute will notify only those entrants who are among the six finalists. Notification of finalists will take place on/by October 30, 2017 to allow sufficient time for the development of posters in advance of the Achieving Accreditation program. 

Organizations submitting QI studies to the AAAHC Institute for this program agree to release from liability, indemnify, and hold harmless AAAHC and its employees, directors, officers, members and any other agents against all actual and direct losses suffered, and all liability to third parties arising from or in connection with participating in the award program. 

Please contact Naomi Kuznets, PhD, AAAHC Institute Vice President & Senior Director, ( or 847-853-6079) or Belle Lerner, MA, AAAHC Institute Assistant Director ( or 847-853-6078) if you have any questions.

Program void where prohibited. 

* The AAAHC reserves the right to refuse to award items (any or all of the items described above), if the Expert Panel finds that any or all submissions do not sufficiently comply with the criteria established to evaluate entries.

2016-2017 Award Winners

Surgical/Procedural category 

Expert Panel and People's Choice winner:
The O.R. Pit Crew - A NASCAR Template for O.R. Efficiency
Robin Menefee, RN, BSN, MBA, Director
Nathalie Waite, RN, MSN, CNL
Palo Alto Medical Foundation Surgery Center Fremont

Primary Care category

Expert Panel winner:
Increasing Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Rates
Suzanne Martin, DNP, NP-C, Nurse Practitioner, QI Director, Assistant Professor (Clinical)
University of Utah

People's Choice winner:
A Multidisciplinary Approach to Condition Management in a Primary Care Setting
Kathleen McKim, RN BSH LHRM, Clinical Services Manager
Premise Health, Center for Living Well

To learn more about award winning activities since 2004, order the latest AAAHC Institute Innovations Award Compendium.

Six finalists (3
from surgical/procedural settings and
3 from primary care setting) have been
selected for the 2016-2017 Bernard
A. Kershner Innovations in Quality
Improvement Award.
And the nominees are:
From surgical/procedural
The O.R. Pit Crew – A Turnover
Time and OR Efficiency Improvement
submitted by: Joan Slagle, RN,
Quality Assurance Coordinator
Palo Alto Medical Foundation Surgery
Center Fremont
Timeliness of Obtaining Surgical
Clearance Documentation
submitted by: D. Craig Rosfjord, RN,
PHN, BSN, Quality Improvement and
Safety Nurse
Mankato Surgery Center
Verifying Cleaning Processes for
Reusable Biopsy Valves
Phyllis Shriner, RN and Irma Haak, RN
Maryland Endoscopy Center
From primary care organizations
Improving rates of HPV vaccination
among Male College Students
Suzanne Martin, DNP, NP-C,
Nurse Practitioner, QI Director,
Assistant Professor (Clinical)
University of Utah
An Intervention to Reduce Unnecessary
TSH, HbA1c and Vitamin D Testingin
Accordance with Evidenced-Based
Guidelines within a PCMH
Danielle Smith, MSN, RN, FRE,
Health Center Manager
Premise Health: Westlake Health &
Wellness Center
A Multidisciplinary Approach to
Condition Management in a Primary
Care Setting
Kathleen McKim, RN BSH LHRM,
Clinical Services Manager
Premise Health, Center for Living Well