Ohio Hospital on Track to Become the 'Best of the Best' with Help of Topgun Fighter Pilots

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The Ohio State University Medical Center (OSUMC) hires former fighter pilots of LifeWings Partners LLC to teach its medical staff how to implement the same safety and efficiency tools that have made the nation’s military and commercial airlines so effective and reliable.

With 13 medical specialties listed among the nation’s best in the 2005 edition of U.S. News & World Report Magazine, The Ohio State University Medical Center (OSUMC) in Columbus, Ohio is recognized as one of America’s leading hospitals. To help it break through to even better performance, OSUMC hired the former fighter pilots of LifeWings Partners LLC to teach its medical staff how to implement the same safety and efficiency tools that have made the nation’s military and commercial airlines so effective and reliable.

“All of the hospitals that have implemented the LifeWings system have made dramatic improvements in quality care, safety, efficiency and profitability,” said Steve Harden, President of LifeWings Partners LLC. “With this system, one of our clients was recently ranked as the safest hospital in the country, so we know it works. OSUMC is a great medical center now and I have no doubt they will soon be ranked as the very best in the country.”

Mr. Harden is a former Topgun flight instructor and airline pilot. His organization of fighter pilots, airline captains, former NASA astronauts, and active physicians has helped over 40 hospitals and health care organizations learn to use the same system used by military and commercial aviation known as Crew Resource Management (CRM). They have trained over 20,000 physicians, nurses, and administrators. Current clients include The Nebraska Medical Center, The University of Texas Medical Branch – Galveston, Vassar Brothers Medical Center, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Dr. Harry Jacobsen, Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt University Medical Center agrees with LifeWings on the value of the system, “We view our CRM work with LifeWings as a key ingredient to the improvements we’ve achieved in quality and patient safety. Because of our positive experience and results, we have become a partner with LifeWings to promote CRM throughout health care.”

“OSUMC, Vanderbilt, Nebraska, and our other clients are certainly doing their part to reduce the almost 98,000 preventable patient deaths that occur every year in our country’s hospitals,” said Mr. Harden. “Their patients are getting great health care.”

The comprehensive project will begin this summer and will start with Implementation in the operating rooms and support areas of: University Hospitals; the Richmond Ross Heart Hospital; the Arthur James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute; and University Hospitals East.

About The Ohio State University Medical Center

The Ohio State University's academic medical center includes the College of Medicine, OSU Physicians and the OSU Health System, comprising University Hospital, James Cancer Hospital, University Hospital East, OSU Harding, Ross Heart Hospital and a network of community care sites. OSU Physicians and the practice plan of the OSU Medical Center is composed of more than 550 doctors working in partnership with the College of Medicine to provide high-quality and coordinated health care to Medical Center patients.

About LifeWings Partners LLC

LifeWings Partners LLC was founded by a former U.S. Navy Top Gun instructor and commercial airline pilot. The firm specializes in applying aviation-based teamwork training and safety tools to help health care facilities eliminate preventable medical errors, provide safer care, and reduce costs. The firm has helped over 40 facilities nationwide improve efficiency and provide better care to their patients. Measurable results are found in all LifeWings initiatives, including one hospital that experienced a 43% improvement in their Observed to Expected mortality figures. The firm also conducts Leadership Development workshops for health care executives and leaders.


Richard Clark, Vice President, LifeWings Partners LLC


9198 Crestwyn Hills Drive

Memphis, TN 38125


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