SCHA’s Zero Harm Awards were started in 2014 to celebrate hospitals who have had extended harm-free stretches in major areas of surgery and other common medical procedures. These awards demonstrate that a culture of patient safety and a commitment to providing highly reliable care are cornerstones of South Carolina hospitals.
“The Zero Harm program is a prime example of a successful partnership between the public and private sector that improves the quality of life in South Carolina,” says Karen Reynolds, Executive Director of Innovation at SCHA. “As medical errors and other types of harm continue to be a major concern across the country, South Carolina has developed a blueprint for reducing avoidable harm in our healthcare facilities that other states can follow.”
This is also the inaugural year of South Carolina’s Drive to Zero Suicide program, an effort by SCHA and the South Carolina Department of Mental Health to recognize state healthcare facilities for adopting specific Zero Suicide strategies into their culture of care. South Carolina has a higher number of suicides than the national average and had seen a rise in the suicide rate even before the pandemic. Both Bon Secours St. Francis Downtown and Bon Secours St. Francis Eastside were among the 20 facilities recognized for using strategies that include evidence-based suicide prevention training for staff, formal policies to screen patients, enhanced safety planning and a follow-up process for patients with a local community mental health center or other provider.
“We are tremendously proud of the commitment our facility and staff have to eliminating harm and maintaining our culture of high reliability, even in these most trying and demanding of times,” says Matt Caldwell, president of Bon Secours St. Francis Health System. “These Zero Harm Awards are a testament to the strength and resilience our entire team has shown over this past two years. We are grateful for this recognition and will continue to support our community every way we can.”
The 223 Zero Harm Awards given out in 2021 represent 314,414 patient days without harm with a projected savings of $5.72 million dollars. For more information about this year’s awards and a full list of winners, go to scha.org/ZeroHarm.