Welsh patient safety campaign aims to save 1,000 lives

Modelled on the highly successful US Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 100,000 lives campaign, NHS Wales has, today, launched its ‘1000 Lives Campaign’.

The ‘1000 Lives Campaign’ aims to reduce risks to patient safety by implementing life-saving interventions developed by clinicians in Wales.

Interventions include better management of medicines, reducing healthcare associated infections and surgical complications and improving general medical and surgical care.

Healthcare Governance Review spoke to Mary Burrows, Chief Executive of North and East Wales NHS Trust about the new initiative. She said “In Wales my Trust and now all NHS organisations in Wales are part of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI – Don Berwick et al) work on improving patient safety. Wales has launched its ‘1000 lives’ campaign today – 21 April 2008 – to run for 2 years and coinciding with the NHS 60th anniversary this year. My Trust has been part of the IHI Safer Patient Initiative for over a year now with demonstrable results using a simple yet effective methodology that engages clinicians from the start and is making a difference in our morbidity and mortality figures and infection rates as examples.

Our Trust has brought the 1000 lives (same methodology and with IHI and Health Foundation) and Safer Patient Initiative into ‘Making it safe’ adopting the methodology across all specialities. For those who don’t know, NHS Trusts in Wales run acute, community and mental health services.

For example whilst we are working on reducing ventilator acquired pneumonia in CCU as part of the ventilator care bundle, we will be using the methodology to improve handover of patients in general wards and as of yesterday will be using the methodology to introduce an evidence-based predictor tool for violence in our medical assessment unit that will allow clinicians to put in management plans to prevent violence in hospital, but in so doing will help to improve the outcome for the individual as well.

The methodology is simple and works on the basis of ‘small test of change’ taking an idea, theory or concept and trying it on 1 patient or 1 ward and getting instant feedback, involvement of patient and then changing it, trying it again until it is reliable. Once it is reliable, it is spread to 3 patients then 5, etc. Reliability is strictly measured so you are able to see daily progress (or not) and then readjust what you are doing, checking for reliability again and then spreading.”

For further information about the 1000 lives campaign, click here.

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