1. Hader, Richard RN, CNA, CHE, CPHQ, PhD, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief

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It has been more than a year since the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) launched a campaign intended to save over 100,000 lives annually. The mantra of the crusade, "Some is not a number. Soon is not a time," became a common theme among the thousands of healthcare organizations and tens of thousands of providers who partnered with the IHI to establish and implement evidence-based medical protocols. Nursing and medical leaders were challenged to educate their staffs and make substantive changes in practice patterns within the framework of research-proven tactics. Nursing Management was proud to work with the IHI to help educate leaders on these protocols by publishing an award-winning series of articles designed to emphasize practical strategies that could be rapidly and effectively implemented. What has been the outcome? Have we been able to successfully implement these protocols and save lives?

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According to a June 2006 press release from the IHI, more than an estimated 122,300 lives have been saved because of the collective efforts of leaders and frontline staff.1 As a healthcare industry, we made significant strides in a short time frame, across all healthcare disciplines.


The value of this collective effort is far reaching. Goals and implementation plans were rapidly developed and executed through the efforts of interdisciplinary teams. Various healthcare representatives researched best practices and shared experiences with thousands of institutions throughout the United States. Rarely before has the community of healthcare organizations and their respective practitioners been so focused on a shared vision and common objective. Obstacles and barriers were systematically broken down and overcome because evidence-based care proved to be the definitive authority.


Fueling organizations' passion for continuing their performance improvement efforts was outcome data that revealed significant reductions in ventilator-associated pneumonia, surgical and central line infections, and lower mortality rates by reducing the number of medical emergencies outside of intensive care units. Within healthcare organizations throughout the country, interdisciplinary teams monitored their performance, used the information as a tool to disseminate their success, and challenged others to participate in the process by sharing the positive results of their interventions.


An infrastructure built on good management practices will sustain the gains made in enhancing quality. Research-proven science was the foundation for the collaborative, but leaders will need to maintain the passion for excellence by methodically communicating expectations to their staffs. We need to identify our organizations' quality limitations and engage staff to help develop solutions.


Performance improvement teams driven by direct care providers will facilitate learning, enhance participation, and increase the engagement of the staff in the process. Leaders will need to provide the resources and tools for staff to effectively and efficiently implement strategies that will enhance outcomes.


Outcome data should be readily shared with the staff through effective communication vehicles. Reaching milestones and the attainment of goals should be celebrated, and individuals and teams should be recognized for their achievements. Through partnerships with our colleagues, we'll continue to improve care and save lives-possibly thousands at a time.


Richard Hader, RN, CNA, CHE, CPHQ, PhD, FAAN


Editor-in-Chief; Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Officer, Meridian Health System, Neptune, N.J.




1. Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Campaign snapshot. Available at: Accessed September 8, 2006. [Context Link]