LifeWings Offers New Tool to Help Hospitals Measure Critical Safety Progress for 2015

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Major improvements are being made in the U.S. health care system and this new free tool from LifeWings can help hospitals easily and quickly measure critical results and ROI.

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a simple scorecard makes the meaning of success tangible for the people in your organization

LifeWings Partners LLC, a leader in patient safety improvement programs, today released a new tool to help health care leaders measure how well they are saving lives and improving the quality of their patients’ lives. The tool is simple—created from a customizable spreadsheet—but provides a new, powerful standard for health care leaders to quickly and consistently help their teams improve.

Despite ongoing challenges in the U.S. health care system, recent data indicate that the relentless improvement work done by many organizations is paying off. A report released by the Department of Health and Human Services shows that an estimated 50,000 fewer patients died in hospitals and approximately $12 billion in health care costs were saved as a result of the reduction in hospital-acquired conditions from 2010 to 2013. This translates to a 17 percent decline in hospital-acquired conditions over the three-year period. And the improvements are accelerating. In 2013 alone, almost 35,000 fewer patients died in hospitals, and approximately 800,000 fewer incidents of harm occurred, saving approximately $8 billion. Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association stated, “We have built an ‘infrastructure of improvement’ that will aid hospitals and the health care field for years to come and has spurred the results you see today."

LifeWings leaders created the tool, called the Patient Harm Index (PHI), in collaboration with a major health care system, initially to give the system’s executives a quick way to gauge the safety of its numerous hospitals and clinics. Typically, health care leaders must mine through volumes of data to get an accurate view of how their teams—and crucially, their significant investments—are performing. LifeWings professionals observed that typically the performance measures, even when accurately reported, were convoluted or never made it to people on the front line—team members like the surgery or radiology technicians. To fix this, LifeWings CEO Steve Harden devised a key performance indicator—one simple number—that would enable a hospital CEO, CFO, or Chief Quality Officer, and individual staff members to—in an instant—know if they are “winning” at their improvement efforts. Mr. Harden stated that, “after working with more than 150 health care organizations, we know that in the end, a simple scorecard makes the meaning of success tangible for the people in your organization. Front-line staff want to know that the efforts they are making to improve safety and quality are really working. We know that using this simple tool will enable organizations to reach more patient safety successes in 2015.”

Mr. Harden drew on best practices of Fortune 500 companies with exceptional quality measures and created a way to get a composite number that would reflect performance and progress in any health care setting.

The tool, available for free at, includes instructions, an Excel template, and an example currently in use at a major health care system.

For a limited time, LifeWings is offering a free 30-minute one-on-one workshop to health care personnel who are interested in creating their own Patient Harm Index. Workshops may be scheduled by contacting LifeWings here.

About LifeWings
LifeWings Partners, LLC is a team of physicians, nurses, Toyota-trained Lean experts, health risk managers, astronauts, military surgeons, and flight crews. Its team was the first in the U.S. to study the best practices of organizations with high reliability, and successfully adapt their strategies for use in health care. LifeWings has distilled the methodology used in commercial aviation, military aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, and cutting-edge manufacturing to help health care organizations create safe, efficient, high-quality hospitals and clinics.

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Stephen Harden
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