BJC HealthCare achieves 75% drop in patient harm events

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St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare credits a systemwide quality improvement effort for the health system's dramatic reduction in patient harm events over the last decade, according to a study published in The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. 

In 2008, BJC HealthCare implemented a systemwide program to target five major causes of patient harm: pressure ulcers, adverse drug events, falls with injury, healthcare-associated infections and venous thromboembolism.

The system created multidisciplinary teams to oversee the effort, which involved the implementation of evidence-based interventions and core standards across the system. Leaders used standardized project management and surveillance methods to monitor progress.

Patient harm decreased from 10,371 reported harm events in 2009 to 5,018 reported events in 2012. Progress continued over the next five years, with the system reporting just 2,605 events in 2017. This equates to a 74.9 percent reduction in harm since 2009.

"A combination of project management discipline, rigorous surveillance and focused interventions, along with system-level support of local hospital improvement efforts, led to dramatic reductions in preventable harm and long-term sustainment of progress," researchers concluded.

To view the full study, click here.

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