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RMC illustration (copy)

An exterior view of the Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties.

The Regional Medical Center recently earned three South Carolina “Certified Zero Harm Awards” from the South Carolina Hospital Association in recognition of the facility’s excellent work in preventing hospital-acquired infections.

RMC received the awards for achieving 30 months with zero central line-associated bloodstream infections, 24 months with zero knee replacement surgical site infections and 12 months with zero abdominal hysterectomy surgical site infections.

Since 2014, SCHA has given out Zero Harm Awards 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, with an economic impact that could reach $1 trillion annually. Thanks to 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 create a culture of high reliability and reduce harm in their facilities by implementing robust, evidence-based practices that are making a positive impact on patients and the safety and quality of care.

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 and recognizes the exceptional achievement the hospital or hospital unit has made to the safety and quality of care within their facilities.

“At RMC, patient safety is paramount in everything we do. I am proud of the recognition our staff and physicians have received for their efforts to ensure our patients have positive outcomes,” said Charles Williams, president and chief executive officer of the Regional Medical Center. “The awards are a reflection of our staff’s hard work and commitment to providing safe, quality care for our community.”

According to Lorri Gibbons, vice president for quality and safety at SCHA, the awards are all part of the association’s efforts to guide and support the state’s hospitals in creating and sustaining highly reliable healthcare. “Highly reliable” care is defined as dependable, high quality and safe care over a long period of time, something which is key to eliminating medical errors in hospitals.

“Celebrating milestones, such as zero infections within a given time frame, is a crucial part of our hospitals’ collective journey to highly reliable healthcare,” Gibbons said. “Zero patient harm is possible only if physicians, clinical and support staff members work together. We’re very proud of the Regional Medical Center’s team members for their strong and shared commitment to patient safety. They are an inspiration to all hospitals across the state striving to provide measurably safe care for every patient.”

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