Commending Christiana Care Health System’s “extraordinary caregivers,” Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, president and CEO, opened the 16th Annual Christiana Care Way Awards, an annual program reflecting the innovation and partnerships that are hallmarks of the health system.

“This is one of my favorite events of the year,” Dr. Nevin said. “You propel us to be exceptional today and even better tomorrow.”

“You propel us to be exceptional today and even better tomorrow.”                            –Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH

She noted that the projects in the competition “come from a place of empathy. You put yourselves in another’s shoes or saw another viewpoint — and you problem-solved,” she said. “Your projects recognize that we are always looking for ways to do better in service to our community.”

‘Everyone is a winner’

“The Christiana Care Way Awards are such an inspiring event each year,” said Sharon Anderson, MS, BSN, RN, FACHE, chief population health officer and senior vice president, Quality and Patient Safety. “Just by participating, we are improving the safety and quality of care we deliver to our patients, families and the community we serve. Everyone is a winner! It is a pleasure to watch how this awards ceremony has continued for 16 years and is now part of the fabric of the organization.”


The Christiana Care Way Awards challenge physicians, nurses and other caregivers to identify opportunities for improvement, then collaborate in using the Plan-Do-Check-Act or Lean Six Sigma DMAIC models to develop and execute plans that achieve positive results.

Thirty-two winning projects selected from the 120 sets of storyboards submitted for the 2018 contest were determined by more than 130 volunteer judges from across the health system.

Attendees toured through competitors’ storyboards which described the goals, process and outcomes of the winning projects.

President’s Award team tackled ICD-10 mandate

The 2018 President’s Award went to the project Coder University – Talent Acquisition Innovations.

A mandate from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to implement International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) in 2015 meant that the race was on for recruiting skilled or trainable coders for difficult-to-fill new positions; to stave off a predicted 50 percent reduction in productivity in the first six months after going live; and prevent a predicted permanent productivity loss, based on staffing levels at the time.

Christiana Care launched full-time, 40-hour work week training classes lasting nine months. As a result, 23 new coding associates were hired and Christiana Care succeeded in filling 95 percent of vacant positions.

Today, all coding associates are actively employed at Christiana Care and have been promoted to full-fledged coders, while several have transitioned to senior coder and are ready to be promoted to coding coordinators.

Results indicate the development of this innovative training model enabled filling the vacant coding positions and reduced contract coder expenses by 63 percent in Fiscal Year 2018 compared to Fiscal Year 2016.

Health Equity Award

Noting that tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases and disproportionately impacts low-income and minority children, Christiana Care Dental Administration and Outpatient Social Work collaborated with Reeds’ Refuge Center, a non-profit community serving low-income families in Wilmington, to connect children there having oral-health issues with pediatric dental care.

By mitigating social, financial and transportation barriers in collaboration with a community partner trusted by parents, 35 children received 111 dental exams/procedures in 10 months. The partnership also increased dental residents’ exposure to pediatric dental issues.

Christiana Care staff from the Edwin L. Granite, D.M.D., Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery & Hospital Dentistry Clinic, Outpatient Social Work and Reeds’ Refuge Center combined to help 35 children receive 111 dental exams/procedures in 10 months.

2018 Christiana Care Way Awards winners

Here’s a roundup of the 2018 Christiana CareWay Awards winners. Be sure to check out the photo gallery below to see pictures of your talented, dedicated colleagues who excelled this year, including those recognized in a new category, the We Care Award, and several extraordinary caregivers noted for “Good Catches.”

In order of presentation, 2018 Christiana Care Way Award winners not yet mentioned include:

People’s Choice

Reducing Unit Acquired Pressure Injuries on 4E

Resident’s Silver

Goals of Care in the Outpatient Setting

Resident’s Gold Award

NOPAIN – Non-Opioid Prescription Alternative Initiative

Population Health Award

Improving Colorectal Cancer Screening in Primary Care

Operational Improvement Bronze Award

Chest Pain Pathway Reduces Length of Stay in Cardiology Observation Patients

Operational Improvement Silver Award

Decrease Percent of MRI Patients Receiving Sedation for MRI

Operational Improvement Gold Award

Signing is Vital: Multidisciplinary Collaboration to Reduce Unsigned Orders

Learning Award

CLABSI Reduction Through Staff Engagement and Process Monitoring

Magnet New Knowledge, Innovation & Improvement Award

Virtual Reality – Chemotherapy Suite Positive Distraction

Magnet Transformational Leadership Silver Award

Improving Access to Trauma Care – Building a Level 3 Trauma Program

Magnet Transformational Leadership Gold Award

ED to Stepdown: Optimizing Patient Flow & Boarding Times

Magnet Exemplary Professional Practice Silver Award

Reducing Unit Acquired Pressure Injuries on 4E

Magnet Exemplary Professional Practice Gold Award

If UAPI and You Know It – Reducing Unit Acquired Pressure Injuries by 50 percent

Magnet Structural Empowerment Silver Award

Improving Stroke Measures in the NCCU

Magnet Structural Empowerment Gold Award

Delirium Scoring on ICU Patients

Innovative Tools Award

Better Understanding C.diff via Health Catalyst

Extraordinary People Award

Promoting a Culture of Continuous Quality Improvement

Organizational Vitality Silver Award

340B Federal Drug Discount Program

Organizational Vitality Gold Award

Ambulatory Collaboration for Improved Risk Adjustment

Exceptional Experience Silver Award

Staying in Line Decreases Time

Exceptional Experience Gold Award

Nursing Bundle for Patient Experience

Optimal Health Quality Bronze Award

Use of a Validated Tool to Improve Compassionate Extubation

Optimal Health Quality Silver Award

Reducing the Rate of Abdominal Hysterectomies Performed at Christiana Care

Optimal Health Quality Gold Award

Value-Based Care for Substance Dependent Newborns

Optimal Health Safety Bronze Award

Intervention for Suicide Prevention in the Emergency Department

Optimal Health Safety Silver Award

Reduce Spinal Fusion SSI Rate

Optimal Health Safety Gold Award

Respecting the Value of Antibiotics

Value Award

Get the “SCOOP” (Supportive Care of Oncology Patients) Clinical Pathway

Best Learning Through Failure Award

Digital Medicines – Avoiding Unnecessary Heart Failure Hospitalization

Transformation Award

Transition to a Systemwide ECG System

We CARE Awards

New in 2018, the We CARE Award introduces a category to recognize caregivers who have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of our neighbors as:

  • Committed, caring and compassionate.
  • Anticipating needs of others, and taking action.
  • Responsible, responsive and respectful.
  • Embracing others and being empathetic.

Congratulations to We CARE Award winners Carly Wilson, homemaker, VNA; Demetria Bennefield, CNA, homemaker, VNA; Jamal Armbrister and Jeremiah Dean, Environmental Services/Escort. Their stories exemplify our Values and Behaviors in action.

Good Catch Awards

Committed reporting by the Endoscopy Suite nursing staff resulted in a systemwide safety alert regarding the significance of allergy verification and allergy bands, and safe practices to reduce the risk of patient harm associated with missing allergy bands.

Photo Gallery