Hospitals Participating in Plan To Reduce Errors
A campaign to reduce medical errors in hospitals has saved the lives of an estimated 122,300 patients at about 3,100 hospitals nationwide, according to data released Wednesday, the AP/Houston Chronicle reports (Stobbe, AP/Houston Chronicle, 6/15). The 18-month-long campaign, called "100,000 Lives," was organized in December 2004 by Donald Berwick, a Harvard Medical School professor and chief executive of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (Kowalczyk, Boston Globe, 6/15).
The campaign focused on making six kinds of changes in care, including activating rapid response teams for emergency care of patients whose vital signs suddenly deteriorate, making frequent checks to ensure medications are administered correctly and giving patients antibiotics before operations to prevent infections, the AP/Chronicle reports (AP/Houston Chronicle, 6/15).
Evan Benjamin, a vice president for health care quality at the Springfield, Mass.-based Baystate Health System, said that death rates from heart attacks decreased 30% and that surgical site infections decreased by 50% at the hospital. "This is a transformational change, and we definitely want to be celebrating it," he said.
According to the Globe, there is no way to confirm that the campaign "did indeed save the number of lives that were claimed" (Boston Globe, 6/15).
PRI's "The World" -- a production of BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston -- on Wednesday included an interview with Joe McCannon, manager of the campaign, about expansion outside the U.S. (Mullins, "The World," PRI, 6/14).
The complete segment is available online in Windows Media.