Saratoga Hospital Wins 2020 HANYS Pinnacle Award for Quality & Patient Safety

Oct. 13, 2020

Saratoga Hospital Wins 2020 HANYS Pinnacle Award for Quality & Patient Safety

Honor recognizes innovative approach to diagnosing and treating common, serious infection

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y., Oct. 13, 2020—For the second year in a row, Saratoga Hospital has earned the Healthcare Association of New York State’s Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety. The award recognizes innovations that improve patient care and can be adapted and implemented by other providers. Pinnacle Award

Saratoga Hospital won the 2020 award for its novel approach to diagnosing and treating Clostridioides difficile infection. The strategy resulted in significant reductions in unnecessary treatment and related side effects and patient harm.

The 2019 award recognized Saratoga Hospital’s success in early identification and treatment of sepsis, a life-threatening condition.

“The HANYS Pinnacle Award is one of the most respected honors available to New York state hospitals, so it is gratifying to be recognized, especially two years in a row,” said Dr. Richard Falivena, vice president and chief medical and physician integration officer at Saratoga Hospital. “Even more important is the message this latest recognition delivers to our patients—that we continually look for ways to provide even better care.”

The in-depth review of C. diff infection data—and the resulting change in diagnosis and treatment—is a case in point. The data showed that, in some patients who tested positive for C. diff, the bacterium was dormant. These patients did not have a C. diff infection and, therefore, could be spared the isolation, expense and potential side effects of C. diff treatment.

With support from the state Department of Health, Saratoga Hospital developed and implemented a more accurate testing algorithm. The hospital also embarked on an extensive education effort on how to prevent, diagnose and treat C. diff infections. 

In one year, Saratoga Hospital saw a considerable decline in hospital-acquired C. diff and a 66% decrease in the number of patients requiring treatment for C. diff infections. Reducing unnecessary antibiotic treatment resulted in better patient care, saved $1 million and helped prevent an increase in drug-resistant bacteria.

“We made reducing C. diff infection a clinical priority across the organization and assembled a multidisciplinary team of internal and external experts to take on the challenge,” said Anna Gaeta, associate vice president of quality at Saratoga Hospital. “When you bring the right people together, you can transform patient care.”

Each year, HANYS selects Pinnacle Award winners in four categories based on organization size and type. Winners are members of HANYS’ statewide Commitment to Excellence initiative to recognize HANYS members’ ongoing efforts to improve quality and patient safety.

Saratoga Hospital won the 2020 award among hospitals with less than 200 beds. Other winners are SBH Health System, hospitals with 200 to 500 beds; Northwell Health, hospital system/consortium of providers or hospital with more than 500 beds; and Maryhaven Center of Hope, post-acute or outpatient facility.

To learn more about Saratoga Hospital’s award-winning innovation, read the HANYS profile.

LOGO CAPTION: HANYS recognizes excellence with their annual Pinnacle Award for Quality and Patient Safety and Community Health Improvement Award. A Pinnacle award celebrates significant achievement and recognizes and encourages broad dissemination of successful quality improvement and patient safety initiatives.

About Saratoga Hospital: Saratoga Hospital is the Saratoga region’s leading healthcare provider and the only acute-care facility in Saratoga County. The hospital’s multispecialty practice, Saratoga Hospital Medical Group, provides care at more than 20 locations, ensuring easy access to programs and services that can have the greatest impact on individual and community health. Saratoga Hospital has maintained Magnet designation for nursing excellence since 2004. The hospital is an affiliate of the Albany Med Health System, which also includes Albany Med, Columbia Memorial Health and Glens Falls Hospital. The region’s largest locally governed health system, it has 1,520 beds, more than 800 physicians and 125 outpatient locations. For more information: or


Peter M. Hopper
Director, Marketing and Communications

15 Oct 2020