The Henry Ford Health System No Harm Campaign: A Comprehensive Model to Reduce Harm and Save Lives

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Background: In 2008 Henry Ford Health System launched its "No Harm Campaign," designed to integrate harm-reduction interventions into a systemwide initiative and, ultimately, to eliminate harm from the health care experience.

Methods: The No Harm Campaign aims to decrease harm events through enhancing the system's culture of safety by reporting and studying harm events, researching causality, identifying priorities, and redesigning care to eliminate harm. The campaign uses a comprehensive set of 27 measures for harm reduction, covering infection-, medication-, and procedure-related harm, as well as other types of harm, all of which are combined to comprise a unique global harm score. The campaign's objective is to reduce all-cause harm events systemwide by 50% by 2013. A wide range of communication processes, from systemwide leadership retreats to daily e-mail news sent to all employees and physicians, is used to promote the campaign. In addition, the campaign is on the intranet "Knowledge Wall," where monthly dashboards, meeting minutes, and best practices and the work of our teams and collaboratives are documented and shared.

Results: From 2008 through 2011, a 31% reduction in harm events and an 18% reduction in inpatient mortality occurred systemwide.

Discussion: Building infrastructure, creating a culture of safety, providing employee training and education, and improving work process design are critical to systemwide implementation of harm-reduction efforts. Key actions for ongoing success focus on leadership, disseminating performance, putting everyone to work, and stealing ideas through national and local collaborations. A financial model was created to assess cost-savings of reducing harm events; early results total nearly $10 million in four years.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2012

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  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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