Forum Health joins national effort

The campaign is endorsed by the CDC and the American Nurses Association, among others.

YOUNGSTOWN — Forum Health announced Thursday that it has joined the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 5 Million Lives, a national campaign to dramatically reduce incidents of medical harm in U.S. hospitals.

The 5 Million Lives campaign asks hospitals to improve the care they provide to protect patients from 5 million incidents of medical harm over a 24-month period, ending Dec. 9, 2008.

It represents a continuation of the 100,000 Lives campaign, the largest improvement effort undertaken in recent history by the health-care industry, says a Forum Health press release.

Forum Health has participated in 100,000 Lives since its beginning in 2005

The 5 Million Lives campaign builds upon the success of the 100,000 Lives campaign, in which 3,100 participating facilities (representing 75 percent of U.S. hospital beds,) avoided unnecessary deaths by implementing six evidence-based interventions, along with other worthy improvement initiatives.

12 ideas

The new campaign promotes adoption of up to 12 improvements in care that can save lives and reduce patient injuries, and it aims to enroll even more hospitals than had participated in the first campaign.

The campaign was formally unveiled Dec. 12, 2006, and is endorsed by the American Hospital Association, the American Nurses Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“Our health-care team is committed to providing evidenced-based medicine and implementing national best practices to enhance the care and services we provide to patients. We believe that the 5 Million Lives campaign facilitates evidenced-based performance improvement,” said Lorie Rhine, director of quality management for Forum Health and Western Reserve Care System.


IHI estimates that 15 million incidents of medical harm occur in U.S. hospitals each year. This estimate of overall national harm is based on IHI’s extensive experience in studying injury rates in hospitals, which reveals that between 40 to 50 incidents of harm occur for every 100 hospital admissions.

With 37 million admissions in the United States each year, according to the AHA's National Hospital Survey for 2005, this equates to about 15 million harm events annually — or 40,000 incidents of harm in U.S. hospitals every day.

IHI defines “medical harm” as unintended physical injury resulting from or contributed to by medical care (including the absence of indicated medical treatment) that requires additional monitoring, treatment or hospitalization, or results in death.

There is no cost for hospitals to join the 5 Million Lives Campaign, which is made possible through the leadership and support of America’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans.

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