HealthcareTomorrow

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

122,000 Lives Saved!

Splash it across the newspapers and proclaim it from the rooftops: Healthcare has its most significant achievement in years, perhaps ever. Today, Donald Berwick, President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), announced the results of an 18 month campaign to save 100K lives, through the implementation of IHI’s set of six patient safety practices. Over 3,100 hospitals joined the effort and in the end, they saved an estimated 122,300 lives.

I realize that I have blogged about this in the past, but I do think that this has been a remarkable campaign. To get 60% of the nations hospitals to participate in a single, focused endeavor without a financial incentive is quite a feat. I attribute this to Dr. Berwick’s clarity of vision, commitment to action, and the sustained “positive-ness” of the campaign. A ton of work also went into providing education and guidance for participating hospitals.

I am also very pleased that Dr. Berwick is carrying on the momentum by announcing the next campaign to encourage participating hospitals to adopt all of the patient safety practices (50% of the hospitals had only implemented 3 of the 6 practices). My hope is that the IHI will identify new patient safety practices and use this campaign model to foster their adoption across the industry.

With all of the negative public sentiment around the need to “fix healthcare,” this campaign makes me proud to be a part of the industry.

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