100,000 lives a year

ORLANDO, Fla.—As promised, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement today announced its 100,000 Lives Campaign, aimed at preventing 100,000 accidental deaths in hospitals between now and June 2006, and another 100,000 in each subsequent year, by enlisting an estimated 1,600 to 2,000 hospitals to adopt six specific quality-related interventions.

Details can be found at http://www.ihi.org/IHI/Programs/Campaign.

IHI CEO Don Berwick got hearty applause from the approximately 2,000 people in the ballroom here at the opening of the IHI’s 16th National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care. At least one person walked by the stage after the speech and flashed Berwick a hearty thumbs-up.

The crowd here seemed genuinely excited about the prospect of saving thousands of lives—an estimated one for every bed in hospitals that adopt all recommendations—by taking a few relatively simple steps. IT vendors are not playing a direct role, but some in participating organizations said that collecting the necessary data is all but impossible without technology.