Pursuing Zero Harm


2017 marked the fourth year of SCHA’s Certified Zero Harm Awards, the DHEC-certified program that publicly recognizes South Carolina hospitals who have successfully eliminated common areas of harm like bloodstream and post-surgery infections over extended periods of time.

South Carolina hospitals work hard every day to improve the quality of care patients receive, constantly striving for system and procedure improvements that are fostered by a culture of learning and accountability. By embracing initiatives like the Surgical Safety Checklist and focusing on how the most common and preventable hospital-acquired infections occur, hospitals have made tremendous strides in creating cultures of high reliability in their facilities. The Zero Harm Awards represent the ultimate goal of their hard work—the complete elimination of harm.

The Certified Zero Harm program continues to successfully drive the improvement of care and is now a national model for fostering high reliability in hospital systems. South Carolina hospitals went from earning 75 awards in the first two years of the program to winning a record-busting 119 awards in 2017. Collectively, those awards accounted for 62,344 central line days without an infection and 9,741 harm-free surgical procedures, with 17 hospitals achieving zero harm in areas over the entire 45-month period that DHEC certified.