IHI shares results of 5 Million Lives Campaign

Campaign scheduled to wrap up in December

If you're getting tired of bad news these days, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement has some positive news. As it nears the end of its 5 Million Lives Campaign this month, it celebrates this year's successes, and according to IHI Vice President Joe McCannon, those have been plentiful.

McCannon talked with Hospital Peer Review in advance of this month's annual IHI conference, where further results and data will be revealed. Of the campaign, he says, the organization has been quite pleased and excited about the level of activity and the level of involvement on a national scale.

"Then there's really some promising signs in terms of organizations demonstrating breakthrough performance and, in some instances, whole systems or whole states demonstrating breakthrough performance."

All of this is inching the health care industry closer to what he calls a "critical mass of organizations that are showing what's possible, and in so doing, changing expectations I would hope permanently about what we can do to get better care to patients and families."

Nationwide involvement

McCannon says more than 4,000 hospitals are now enrolled in the program, representing about 80% of hospitals nationwide. And he says IHI is "especially excited" by the "significant increase" in involvement of rural hospitals. Of about 2,000 rural hospitals, more than 85% are part of the campaign, he says.

Of 200 hospitals that are serving as mentors or coaches in the campaign, 60 of those are rural or critical access hospitals. "So we are seeing these pockets of success, which will hopefully raise energy and excitement and create higher expectations about what's possible," he says.

As part of the campaign, affinity groups including facilities such as rural hospitals and pediatric and teaching hospitals have been formed as networks for sharing successes and lessons learned. At the state level, "field offices" or "nodes" have been created to act in the same way on the state level.

As part of the 100,000 and 5 million lives campaigns, IHI has created 12 interventions, priorities hospitals can focus on to improve quality and safety (see box, below.) and areas where the campaign has seen many successes, McCannon says:

  • More than 65 hospitals in the campaign have reported going more than a year with no ventilator-associated pneumonia.
  • More than 35 hospitals report no cases in one year of central line infections.
  • Hospitals in Rhode Island report a 42% decrease in central line infections across the state.
  • New Jersey hospitals report a 72% reduction in pressure ulcer incidents.

12 InterventionsWhat's next for IHI?

"We need to finish the job," McCannon says, referring to the future of the campaign after its conclusion in December. That is, he says, to get people thinking about moving successes in discreet areas to reducing harm and mortalities across facilities.

"We need to move from pockets of success to ubiquity when it comes to introducing the interventions that have already been in the campaign and helping them move success from one unit to other units and sustain the work," he says.

The next frontier for IHI, he says, is moving hospitals to "more complete performance," to making these distinct success stories commonplace ones. IHI is working on consolidating priorities, suggestions, and practices learned as part of this campaign to move health care to the next level.

(Editor's note: IHI will host its 20th annual national forum Dec. 8-11 in Nashville, TN.)