The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum (NQF) are accepting applications for the 2009 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards, which recognize individuals and health care organizations that are making significant contributions in improving the safety and quality of patient care, according to a press release.

Application forms are available at www.jointcommission.organdwww.qualityforum.org. The deadline for submissions is April 20, 2009.

The awards honor the memory of Dr. Eisenberg, a nationally recognized leader in health care quality improvement who advocated for health care — based on a strong foundation of research — that meets the needs and perspectives of patients. Dr. Eisenberg, who died in 2002, spearheaded national efforts to reduce medical errors and improve patient safety as director of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Awards are presented each year, in up to four categories, including individual achievement and project-related achievements in research and innovation in patient safety and quality at both the national and local level. Beginning in 2009, however, nominations will be accepted in the Individual Achievement Category for both domestic and international nominees. In addition, a new category has been added for International Patient Safety and Quality related initiatives.

The accomplishments of award nominees must be focused on one or more of the following: improving patient safety or the quality of health care, leadership in advancing methods for measuring and reporting health care quality, expanding the public's capacity to evaluate the quality and safety of health care, and promoting health care choices based on information about safety and quality.

Awards are not necessarily given in each category every year and more than one award could be presented in a given category. An award panel of outside experts in patient safety and health care quality select the recipients. For more information about the award and to read about past recipients, go tohttp://www.jointcommission.org/PatientSafety/EisenbergAward/.

Completed nomination forms may be mailed to the attention of Linda Hanold, director, Department of Quality Measurement and Research, The Joint Commission, One Renaissance Boulevard, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., 60181. The 2009 awards will be presented at NQF's National Policy Conference October 14-16 in National Harbor, Maryland.