The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) announced today that U.S. hospitals taking part in an unprecedented 18-month effort to prevent 100,000 unnecessary deaths by dramatically improving patient care have exceeded that goal. Hospitals enrolled in the 100,000 Lives Campaign have collectively prevented an estimated 122,300 avoidable deaths and, as importantly, have begun to institutionalize new standards of care that will continue to save lives and improve health outcomes into the future.

Initiated by IHI in December 2004, the Campaign has enrolled more than 3,000 hospitals – representing an estimated 75% of U.S. hospital beds and far surpassed the enrollment original goal of 2,000. The participating hospitals have pledged to implement up to six evidence-based and life-saving interventions. Dr. Donald Berwick, President and CEO of IHI, announced the results at IHI’s 2nd Annual International Summit on Redesigning Hospital Care.

 “When we decided to launch the Campaign, we didn’t know if hospitals could take on another challenge," said Dr. Berwick. “But the Campaign has exceeded our highest expectations. The participating hospitals have not only prevented an estimated 122,300 unnecessary deaths, but they've also proven that it’s possible for the health care community to come together voluntarily to rapidly make significant changes in patient care. I have never before witnessed such widespread collaboration and commitment on the part of health care leaders and front line staff to move the system giant steps forward.”

As a result of the Campaign, many patients have begun to enjoy a new standard of care. Over 20 facilities have reported that they have gone over a year without a Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia, a leading killer among all hospital-acquired infections, demonstrating that this sort of complication can be avoided and is not inevitable. Hundreds of hospitals have also now instituted rapid response teams, a relatively new concept that is saving lives. Participating hospitals have also made great headway in delivering reliable care for Acute Myocardial Infarction, preventing adverse drug events, and preventing surgical site and central line infections.

The Campaign has significantly altered the health care landscape by creating a national infrastructure for change that will enable thousands of more lives to be saved in the future.Highlights include:

  • More than 50 health care organizations – state hospital associations, quality improvement organizations, or other health care entities, often working together – are serving as local field offices (or “nodes”) for the Campaign. These organizations are leading Campaign initiatives on a state or regional level, helping to introduce each intervention by coordinating technical assistance, providing peer-to-peer learning opportunities (calls, email lists) and hosting local Campaign events.
  • More than 90 national partners – among them the American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations – are actively involved in supporting and promoting the Campaign.
  • Nearly 100 hospitals that have demonstrated success with specific interventions are acting as “mentor hospitals,” sharing their knowledge and experience with other hospitals aiming to achieve excellence in those areas. The list of mentor hospitals, nodes and partners is available at
  • Hospitals and health care systems have begun to cooperate at unprecedented levels. Without regulatory mandates or financial incentives, groups of facilities on the regional, state and community level have come together to exchange solutions and strategies to support improvement. Campaign participants are sharing extraordinary ideas and examples of success on IHI’s website (

 “CMS applauds the IHI for its leadership in the campaign that resulted in an estimated 122,300 lives being saved,” said Mark McClellan, Administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “We continue to support the hospitals who voluntarily participated in the 100,000 Lives Campaign, the public reporting efforts we are conducting with the Hospital Quality Alliance, and the efforts of the Medicare Quality Improvement Organizations. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with IHI to motivate improvement in the quality of American health care.”

“We applaud the dedication of the over 3,000 hospitals that are working to improve care and extend the lives of patients through their participation in IHI’s 100,000 Lives Campaign,” stated Dennis S. O’Leary, M.D., President, Joint Commission. “Their rapid adoption of critical best practices offers great hope for raising the standards of care in this country.”

 “We’re delighted by the outcome of the first eighteen months of the 100,000 Lives Campaign, and we are very proud of the critical contributions made by nurses to so many of the Campaign interventions,” said Barbara A. Blakeney, MS, RN, President of the American Nurses Association. “We look forward with great pleasure to joining IHI in helping hospitals to sustain this important work in the months to come.”

IHI expects to announce plans at its National Forum in December for the next stage of this health care improvement initiative. In the interim, the national community of Campaign participants will redouble its efforts, committing to fully spread the Campaign’s improvement interventions throughout each participating facility and enact plans to sustain gains in performance. Simultaneously, IHI will work with expert groups and high-achieving facilities to explore new areas for hospital improvement that will be introduced in the next phase of the Campaign – complete with a new, ambitious aim for saving lives.

“The Campaign has built a powerful network of generous national partners, active regional field offices (nodes) and deeply committed hospitals, all devoted to aligning aims, offering support and learning from one another on an ongoing basis,” said Joseph McCannon, Campaign Manager for IHI. “From the launch of the Campaign, a very courageous group of partners including JCAHO, CDC, CMS, AMA, ANA, Leapfrog and the National Patient Safety Foundation have made the Campaign possible. This vibrant infrastructure is not going away – in fact, together we fully intend to build upon it in order to completely transform the health care system.”

  • Hospitals that participated in the 100,000 Lives Campaign committed to implementing some or all of the following six quality improvement changes:Activate a Rapid Response Team at the first sign that a patient’s condition is worsening and may lead to a more serious medical emergency. (1,781 hospitals participating)
  • Prevent patients from dying of heart attacks by delivering evidence-based care, such as appropriate administration of aspirin and beta-blockers to prevent further heart muscle damage. (2,288 hospitals participating)
  • Prevent medication errors by ensuring that accurate and continually updated lists of patients’ medications are reviewed and reconciled during their hospital stay, particularly at transition points. (2,185 hospitals participating)
  • Prevent patients who are receiving medicines and fluids through central lines from developing infections by following five steps, including proper hand washing and cleaning the patient’s skin with “chlorhexidine” (a type of antiseptic). (1,925 hospitals participating)
  • Prevent patients undergoing surgery from developing infections by following a series of steps, including the timely administration of antibiotics. (2,133 hospitals participating)
  • Prevent patients on ventilators from developing pneumonia by following four steps, including raising the head of the patient’s bed between 30 and 45 degrees. (1,982 hospitals participating)

The 100,000 Lives Campaign is supported through unrestricted philanthropy from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the Cardinal Health Foundation, the Colorado Trust, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Rx Foundation, Baxter International, the Blue Shield of California Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Aetna Foundation, and the Leeds Family Foundation. National aggregate case-mix data and analysis supporting the Campaign’s “lives saved” calculation is generously provided, without restriction for use, by CareScience (a QUOVADX division), Solucient and the Premier Perspective™ Database.

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