MCC-Penn Valley grad first to receive new national award for patient safety

Michael Blomquist- RN, CCRN and MCC graduate
Michael Blomquist, R.N., CCRN and an MCC graduate

Michael Blomquist, a Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley graduate, is the first recipient of the National Patient Safety Foundation’s DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

Blomquist is currently an educational specialist at the University of Kansas Hospital’s Zamierowski Institute for Experiential Learning.

The Institute provides advanced health care education to ensure optimal education and patient outcomes at both University of Kansas Hospital and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

At the time he was nominated, Blomquist was a critical care nurse and a member of the hospital’s first rapid response team. He developed the Rapid Response Team Boot Camp, a course to help new members understand their roles, standards of care, and resources available.

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 at University of Kansas Hospital 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 in 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 noticed the need for rapid response and with the doctors and nurses who embraced the rapid response program because it puts the patient first.

“Impeccable communication is a key component of patient safety, and Michael has mastered patient-centered communication with his team as well as with patients and their families,” said Tammy Peterman, executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief nursing officer at the hospital.

“His commitment, passion, and expertise make him most deserving of this award.”

This award derives from the DAISY Foundation’s signature program, the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, which is given in over 1,900 health care facilities in all 50 states and in 14 other countries. Nurses who had received the DAISY Award within their organizations in 2013 or 2014 were eligible for this new national award, which places special emphasis on patient and workforce safety.

Blomquist graduated from MCC-Penn Valley with a registered nurse (R.N.) degree and earned a bachelor of science in nursing (B.S.N.) from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

To read a personal story about how his work truly impacts his patients, click on this story:

And to watch a video about his work at the University of Kansas Hospital, click here: