Nurse from The University of Kansas Hospital First Ever to Receive New National Award for Patient Safety

April 21, 2015

KANSAS CITY, Kan.—A critical care nurse who helped establish live-saving Rapid Response teams at The University of Kansas Hospital has won National Patient Safety Foundation’s DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. Michael Blomquist, RN, CCRN, was chosen to receive the individual award in recognition of his professionalism and patient-centered approach. 

Rapid Response teams are called when anyone in the hospital (nurse, transporter, cleaning crew, family member) notices the first signs of deterioration of a patient.  A critical care nurse and a critical care respiratory therapist rush to the bedside to assess the patient and provide immediate intervention if needed.  In 2014, 91 percent of the Rapid Response patients survived to be discharged, even with a record high severity of patient conditions in the hospital. The early intervention plan also resulted in a significant reduction of the more critical “code blue” calls outside intensive care units in the hospital.

Blomquist said he shares the award with other nurses at the hospital who first notice the need for Rapid Response and with the doctors and nurses who embraced the Rapid Response program because it puts the patient first.

Blomquist’s supervisor, Nursing Director Carol Cleek, RN, MSN, CCNS, CCRN, noted this is just the latest national nursing award the hospital has achieved. Cleek said a nurse from The University of Kansas Hospital has been named one of the magnet nurses of the year two of the last three years. Two years ago, the hospital’s inpatient cancer units received the first ever Prism Award recognizing exceptional nursing and outcomes in hospital units across the country.

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