GHS hospitals recognized for patient safety record

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Greenville Memorial Hospital, Greer Memorial Hospital and Hillcrest Memorial Hospital – all part of Greenville Health System (GHS) – earned a South Carolina “Certified Zero Harm Award” from the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) in recognition of each facility’s excellent work in preventing hospital-acquired infections.

Greenville Memorial was recognized for its prevention of central line associated blood stream infections in its cardiovascular and neuro-trauma intensive care units; Greer Memorial was recognized for its prevention of central line associated blood stream infections in its intensive care unit, as well as prevention of surgical site infections in abdominal hysterectomies, colon surgeries and knee replacements; and Hillcrest Memorial was recognized for its prevention of surgical site infections in colon surgeries, hip replacements and knee replacements.

Since 2014, SCHA has given out Zero Harm Awards to acknowledge hospitals that are on the forefront of preventing medical errors, which by some estimates is the third leading cause of death in the United States, with an economic impact that could reach 1 trillion dollars annually. Thanks to a collaboration with The Duke Endowment and The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Health, SCHA and South Carolina hospitals have taken part in a statewide effort to create a culture of high reliability and reduce harm in our facilities by implementing robust, evidence-based practices that are making a positive impact on patients and the safety and quality of care.

To earn a Certified Zero Harm Award, hospitals must experience no preventable hospital-acquired infections of a specific nature over an extended period of time. All hospital data used for the awards is independently verified by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and recognizes the exceptional achievement the hospital or hospital unit has made to the safety and quality of care within their facilities.

“At GHS, our positive ratings are a testament to the skill level and commitment of our employees. An abundance of teamwork and a tireless pursuit to fulfill our mission led us to this point, and it will propel us to continue this good work long into the future,” said Cathy Chang, MD, chief medical officer for GHS. “Patients and families are the focus of everything we do at GHS, and we will use these ratings to further improve care and enhance the patient experience.”

According to Lorri Gibbons, vice president for quality and safety at SCHA, the awards are all part of the Association’s efforts to guide and support the state’s hospitals in creating and sustaining highly reliable healthcare. “Highly reliable” care is defined as dependable, high quality and safe care over a long period of time, something which is key to eliminating medical errors in hospitals.

“Celebrating milestones, such as zero infections within a given time frame, is a crucial part of our hospitals’ collective journey to highly reliable healthcare,” said Gibbons.

“Zero patient harm is possible only if physicians, clinical and support staff members work together. We’re very proud of GHS and its team members for their strong and shared commitment to patient safety. They are an inspiration to all hospitals across the state striving to provide measurable safety care for every patient,” Gibbons added.

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About Greenville Health System
Greenville Health System (GHS) — an academic health system that is the largest not-for-profit healthcare delivery system in South Carolina — is committed to medical excellence through research, patient care and education. GHS offers patients an innovative network of clinical integration, expertise and technologies through its eight medical campuses, tertiary medical center, research and education facilities, community hospitals, physician practices and numerous specialty services throughout the Upstate. The 1,358-bed system is home to 15 medical residency and fellowship programs. GHS is also home to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, a joint effort of USC and GHS. Visit ghs.org for more information.

About the South Carolina Hospital Association
Founded in 1921, the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) is the leadership organization and principal advocate for the state’s hospitals and healthcare systems. Based in Columbia, SCHA works with its members to improve access, quality, and cost-effectiveness of health care for all South Carolinians. The state’s hospitals and healthcare systems employ more than 70,000 persons statewide. Learn more about SCHA at www.scha.org.