University of Vermont Medical Center Awarded 5-Star Hospital Award by Patient Safety Movement Foundation for Patient Safety Efforts

BURLINGTON – The Patient Safety Movement Foundation presented The University of Vermont Medical Center with the Foundation’s 5-Star Hospital award for making commitments in alignment with the Patient Safety Movement Foundation’s evidence-based Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS). The APSS address patient safety challenges that hospitals face daily and offer solutions designed to help hospitals eliminate preventable harm or death.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront the importance of healthcare worker and patient safety,” said David Mayer, MD, CEO of Patient Safety Movement Foundation. “We are excited to have the University of Vermont Medical Center on board in our commitment to eliminate preventable medical harm and death. Their efforts to improve their delivery of care can truly save lives, and we look forward to continuing to work alongside them.”

Mayer virtually presented the award to Stephen Leffler, MD, President and Chief Operating Officer, Lori Notowitz, RN, Director of Patient Safety and Patrick Bender, MD, Interim Vice President, Quality and Operational Effectiveness at UVM Medical Center. To view the award presentation, click here.

“Keeping our patients safe is the foundation for everything we do,” said Leffler. “It’s also one of the most difficult and complex aspects of our work, because it involves every single one of us in so many ways – whether our job is clinical in nature or not.”

“We have a very strong culture of patient safety here at the UVM Medical Center,” said Bender. “We are committed to implementing best practices known to reduce patient harm, such as utilizing checklists and care bundles to prevent central line blood stream infections.”

This type of evidence-based approach allows the UVM Medical Center to sustain a low rate of potentially harmful hospital acquired infections, and perform well from a safety standpoint nationally.

“Our staff at every level are strong advocates for their patients, and routinely alert their teammates and leaders when they encounter a situation that could potentially lead to harm,” Bender added. “This is so important, as it allows us to make the necessary changes in the delivery care system before patients are affected.”

The UVM Medical Center has assessed how its current practice aligns with each Actionable Patient Safety Solution checklist recommended by the Patient Safety Movement Foundation. This has led to a more comprehensive approach to prevention of venous thromboembolism and certain hospital acquired infections, and decreased overuse of antibiotics. The effort has also led to using more capabilities of electronic medical record Epic to support caregivers in following best practices.

More than 4,793 hospitals across 48 countries have committed to implementing one or multiple of the APSS developed by the Patient Safety Movement Foundation workgroups. For more information about the 5-Star Hospital program, please visit:

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