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This award-winning blog supplements the articles in Hospital Infection Control & Prevention.

Joint Commission seeks “high reliability” patient safety systems

In an ambitious attempt to see if patient safety successes can go beyond individual units and even entire facilities, the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare is partnering with 20 hospitals in South Carolina.

“What we see when we look at health care organizations around the country is a lot of work being done to improve quality -- a lot of places that have established a particular [high quality] unit, a particular service,” says Mark R. Chassin, MD, FACP, MPP, MPH, president of the Joint Commission. “What we don’t see is entire hospitals, hospital systems, regions, functioning at very high levels of safety that is maintained over long periods of time. We don’t see in health care the level of excellence and safety of commercial air travel -- or even amusement parks.”

The project with the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) -- the first of its kind for the TJC Center -- includes 20 hospitals from seven health systems located throughout the state. CEOs and other executives from participating South Carolina hospitals will meet regularly to collaborate on performance improvement projects and discuss strategies to move toward high reliability care. The specific interventions have not been announced yet, but medical errors and preventable infections are expected to be prime targets for reduction and even eradication.

For more on this story see the May 2014 issue of Hospital Infection Control & Prevention