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Western Maine Health Joins 5 Million Lives Campaign

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement estimates that there are 15 million incidents of medical harm that occur in U.S. hospitals each year.  Western Maine Health has joined a national campaign to ensure they are working towards reducing incidents of harm.

Timothy A. Churchill, President and CEO of Western Maine Health today announced that it has joined the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Protecting 5 Million Lives from Harm Campaign, a national campaign to dramatically reduce incidents of medical harm in U.S. hospitals. The 5 Million Lives Campaign asks hospitals to improve the care they provide in order to protect patients from five million incidents of medical harm over a 24-month period, ending December 9, 2008. It represents a continuation of the largest improvement effort undertaken in recent history by the health care industry.

IHI defines "medical harm" as 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 results in death.

The Campaign was formally unveiled on December 12, 2006 and has been endorsed by the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Nurses Association (ANA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Joint Commission.
The Protecting 5 Million Lives from Harm Campaign builds upon the success of the 100,000 Lives Campaign in which 3100 participating hospitals, including Stephens Memorial Hospital, avoided unnecessary deaths by implementing six evidence-based interventions, along with other worthy improvement initiatives.  The new Campaign promotes the adoption of up to 12 improvements in care that can save lives and reduce patient injuries, and it aims to enroll even more hospitals than participated in the first Campaign.

Western Maine Health plans to implement and continue working on twelve interventions as part of their participation in the 5 Million Lives Campaign, which include among other things - the prevention of surgical complications, reducing harm from high alert medications, prevention of pressure ulcers, infection prevention, and getting the board of directors on board with the campaign and improvement of care.

Different committees will be working on different on different aspects of the plan to reduce the possibility of harm at Western Maine Health is at the helm of this important campaign

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement ( is a not-for-profit organization leading the improvement of health care throughout the world. Founded in 1991 and based in Cambridge, MA, IHI is a catalyst for change, cultivating innovative concepts for improving patient care and implementing programs for putting those ideas into action. Thousands of health care providers, including many of the finest hospitals in the world, participate in IHI's groundbreaking work.

Western Maine Health is part of the Maine Health® family.  Visit Western Maine Health on the Internet at

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