Henry Ford Health System’s ‘No Harm Campaign’ Reduces Harm and Saves Lives

The “No Harm Campaign” at Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) in Detroit integrates national, local, and homegrown efforts into one system-wide initiative to reduce harm. With an ambitious goal to decrease harm events system-wide by 50% from 2008-2013, the No Harm Campaign focuses on enhancing the culture of safety, improving the quality and clarity of clinical communications, identifying top causes of harm overall and at individual points on the continuum of care, and redesigning care to eliminate common causes of harm.

HFHS uses a broad definition of harm: any unintended physical injury resulting from or contributed to by medical care (including the absence of indicated medical treatment) that requires additional monitoring, treatment or hospitalization or that results in death. Such injury is considered harm whether or not it is considered preventable, resulted from a medical error, or occurred within a hospital.

Harm reduction is measured by a comprehensive set of 27 measures across six categories: infection-related, medication-related, procedure-related, care delivery, employee, and other types of harm. These harm measures, comprised of hundreds of medical codes, combine to create a unique aggregate global harm score. The global harm score for each hospital overall and by category is transparent to all stakeholders within the system in an effort to create and spread best practices for harm reduction across the system.

From January 2008 through December 2011, the combined inpatient harm rate system-wide decreased by 31% and system-wide mortality rate decreased by 18%. This reflects a reduction of 169 harm events/month even while adding a new hospital and increasing the total number of patient days in the period measured. Cost-savings of the No Harm Campaign are estimated to total $10 million over a 4-year period, a savings of 8-9% each year in costs.

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Dwight Angell
Director of Public Affairs
Henry Ford Health System
One Ford Place
Detroit, Michigan

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