April 19, 2022

HSR&D Investigator Receives Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award

Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH

Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH

HSR&D is proud to announce that Hardeep Singh, MD, MPH, Chief of the Health Policy, Quality & Informatics Program at HSR&D’s Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety (IQuEST) in Houston, TX, received the 2021 Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award. Presented annually by The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum (NQF), this award recognizes major individual, local, and national achievements in healthcare that improve patient safety and healthcare quality.

Dr. Singh, who started his VA career as a full-time primary care physician, focuses on understanding and reducing diagnostic errors; using health information technology to improve health care; and improving the safety of electronic health records (EHR). In 2016, he and his team received HSR&D’s Health System Impact Award, which honors HSR&D- and QUERI-funded research that has had a direct and important impact on clinical practice or clinical policy within the VA healthcare system. “Taking care of my Veteran patients inspired me to get into health care safety research…I wanted to use data and research evidence to improve patient outcomes and that’s how I found my true passion,” Singh said. “I see every scientific project as an opportunity to change health care and challenge the status quo in quality and safety.”

His team's impact on policy and practice in the VA healthcare system includes initiatives to measure and improve communication of diagnostic test results to patients and clinicians. For instance, Dr. Singh co-developed the national VA policy on communication of test results to patients and providers that is in place at all VA facilities and impacts care for millions of Veterans. Working with his team, Dr. Singh conducted extensive research on the safe use of electronic health records that resulted in a comprehensive compendium of safety checklists known as the SAFER Guides, which allow healthcare organizations to address safety issues related to the EHR. The Guides are part of a new federal policy on Medicare reimbursement to hospitals.

Dr. Singh’s award in the Individual Achievement category recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and scholarship in patient safety and health care quality through a substantive lifetime body of work. According to Dr. Singh, the field of health care safety has evolved quite a bit over his 17-year career. “Back in 2005 when I began this journey, diagnostic error was an area where scientific knowledge was underdeveloped and research funding was scarce,” he said. “Today, it’s great to see a much more defined scientific path forward when it comes to measuring and analyzing diagnostic error. Putting research into practice has led to the development of some amazingly effective tools, strategies, and innovations to improve patient outcomes.”

NQF and The Joint Commission will host an in-person award ceremony in July 2022 to celebrate the 2021 awardees and their accomplishments within the quality ecosystem. The ceremony will also be streamed online. The Patient Safety Awards program honors the late John M. Eisenberg, MD, MBA. An impassioned advocate for healthcare quality improvement, he was a member of NQF’s founding board of directors and chaired the federal government’s Quality Interagency Coordination Task Force.