BMH recognized for infection prevention

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Beaufort Memorial Hospital (BMH) has racked up another three Certified Zero Harm Awards from the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA), along with special recognition for holding state records in preventing two major classes of hospital-acquired infections, according to a release. 

The 197-bed nonprofit hospital reported no central-line-associated bloodstream infections in the Intensive Care Unit and surgical site infections during colon surgery for 45 consecutive months. It was the only area healthcare facility to earn state records in two categories.

“Beaufort Memorial has worked diligently to improve patient safety in every area of care, including hospital-acquired infections,” BMH President and CEO Russell Baxley said. “Preventing bloodstream and post-surgical infections for such an extended period of time is a testament to the commitment our staff has shown in protecting our patients.”

The hospital also received a Certified Zero Harm Award for having no surgical site infections during abdominal hysterectomy surgery for 12 months.

The South Carolina Hospital Association has been giving out Zero Harm Awards since 2013 to acknowledge hospitals that are on the forefront of preventing medical errors, which by some estimates is the third leading cause of death in the United States. This is the second year Beaufort Memorial has won three of the awards. 

To earn a Certified Zero Harm Award, hospitals must experience no preventable hospital-acquired infections of a specific nature over an extended period of time. All hospital data used for the awards is independently verified by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

As part of a collaboration with The Duke Endowment and The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Health, SCHA and South Carolina hospitals have taken part in a statewide effort to reduce harm by implementing robust practices shown to improve patient safety and quality of care. 

“Celebrating milestones, such as zero infections within a given time frame, is a crucial part of our hospitals’ collective journey to highly reliable healthcare,” said South Carolina Hospital Association Vice President for Quality and Safety Lorri Gibbons. “Zero patient harm is possible only if physicians, clinical and support staff members work together.”