The South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) is proud to announce that they have recognized that 40 SC hospitals won 118 Certified Zero Harm Awards this year, the most awards they have recognized in a single year. These awards collectively represent 62, 344 days of infection-free days with central line patients and 9, 741 surgical procedures with no harm. The awards were given out at our annual Trustees, Administrators, and Physicians (TAP) Conference in Hilton Head last week and mark the fourth year of the Zero Harm Awards program.
Since 2014, SCHA has given out Zero Harm Awards to acknowledge hospitals that are on the forefront of preventing medical errors, which by some estimates is the third leading cause of death in the United States with an economic impact that can reach upwards of 1 trillion dollars annually. Thanks to a collaboration with The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), The Duke Endowment and The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Health, SCHA and South Carolina hospitals have taken part in a statewide effort to create a culture of high reliability and reduce harm in our facilities by implementing robust, evidence-based practices that are making a positive impact on patients and the safety and quality of care.
To earn a Certified Zero Harm Award, hospitals must experience no preventable hospital-acquired infections of a specific nature over an extended period of time. All hospital data used for the awards is independently verified by SC DHEC and recognizes the exceptional achievement the hospital or hospital unit has made to the safety and quality of care within their facilities.
According to Lorri Gibbons, Vice President for Quality and Safety at SCHA, the awards are all part of the Association’s efforts to guide and support the state’s hospitals in creating and sustaining highly reliable healthcare. “Highly reliable” care is defined as dependable, high quality and safe care over a long period of time, something which is key to eliminating medical errors in hospitals.
“Celebrating milestones, such as zero infections within a given time frame, is a crucial part of our hospitals’ collective journey to highly reliable healthcare,” said Gibbons. “Zero patient harm is possible only if physicians, clinical and support staff members work together. We’re very proud of our hospitals for their strong and shared commitment to safe care for every patient."