Safety plan surpasses recruitment goal

After spending six months signing up facilities to save "100,000 Lives" before the end of next year, IHI is ready to move from recruitment to implementation.

By Victoria Stagg Elliott — Posted July 11, 2005

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Chicago -- Bernard Emkes, MD, the medical director of St. Vincent Health System in Indianapolis, is expecting good news when he receives his institution's patient mortality data in July. He credits this in part to the fact that his health system signed up for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's "100,000 Lives Campaign" earlier this year. His health system has started bar-coding drugs to avoid mix-ups and recently instituted a rapid response team that can be called on if any staff member believes a patient might be in trouble. The team is already getting about 80 calls a month.

"We have adopted the entire program, and this does work," Dr. Emkes said. "We've done it with existing resources, and when you put something in place, within a month you see a big difference."

The campaign, which launched in December 2004 with the goal of recruiting 2,000 hospitals, has enlisted more than 2,200 in all 50 states. Several states are just one hospital away from 100% enrollment, according to a presentation at the American Medical Association's annual meeting in June.

Now that the recruitment goal has been met, the program is moving on to the first implementation phase.

"We will fail in implementation of phase one because the number of things you have to do to get everything right are a little bit complicated," said IHI President and CEO Donald Berwick, MD. "I say let's fail fast, learn from that and succeed in implementation of phase two, because we have 100,000 lives to save by June 14, 2006."

The AMA is a strategic partner in the campaign, which calls on hospitals to commit to improving cardiac care, preventing surgical site and central line infections, attempting to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonias, cutting down adverse drug events and making rapid response teams available.

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