Hospital-Acquired Infection May Be Prevented By Using Safety Tools Originally Developed For Commercial Aviation

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Hospital-acquired infections killing tens of thousands of Americans each year, many hospitals turn to the pilots of LifeWings Partners, LLC for solutions.

This is one of the most important steps in changing the culture. Safety tools are the engine producing real and measurable change

Brad Moore was admitted into a hospital for laser surgery for tracheal stenosis in his windpipe thinking he would soon return home in good health.

But while awaiting the procedure in the critical care unit, the 28-year-old contracted a severe antibiotic-resistant staph infection. As a result, Moore fell ill and died a few weeks later. There is some speculation that hospital staff was treating him without gloves and masks.

A report surveying 168 Pennsylvania hospitals reveals infections contracted in hospitals are reaching crisis level.

The study, from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, found that 19,154 Pennsylvania patients were infected in hospitals.

For patients with hospital-acquired infections, the average payment for hospitalization was $53, 915, the average length of stay was 20.6 days, and the mortality rate was 12.9%.

To combat these startling statistics, many hospitals are turning to organizations that specialize in the standardization of procedures. Memphis-based LifeWings Partners, LLC, a team of pilots, former astronauts and physicians has helped over 50 hospitals create customized safety tools, such as checklists and communications protocols.

“This is one of the most important steps in changing the culture. Safety tools are the engine producing real and measurable change,” says Stephen Harden, former TopGun fighter pilot and president of LifeWings. “In my work with hospitals, I’ve seen immediate improvements in process measures and outcomes after the implementation of tools. Post surgical infection rates have dramatically decreased, compliance with treatment protocols have improved by 50%, and mortality rates have dropped, just to name a few.”

CRM-based programs can directly improve profitability, decrease patient hospitalization time, mortality rates and most importantly improve overall care for patients. One LifeWings’ client identified 200 patients that, without the improvements made as a result of the LifeWings’ program, probably would not have survived their hospital stay.

About LifeWings Partners, LLC

LifeWings Partners, LLC was founded by a former U.S. Navy Top Gun instructor, a commercial airline pilot, and two physicians who are former NASA astronauts. The firm specializes in applying aviation-based teamwork training and safety tools to help healthcare facilities save patients’ lives and reduce costs. LifeWings has helped over 50 facilities nationwide provide better care to their patients.


Steve Harden, President

LifeWings Partners, LLC


9198 Crestwyn Hills Drive

Memphis, TN 38125

sharden @


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