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November 10, 2021

SC Hospitals Earn More Zero Harm Awards As COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

(Columbia, South Carolina – November 10, 2021) The South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) is pleased to announce that our newly revamped Zero Harm Awards program will recognize 58 SC hospitals that collectively won 223 Certified Zero Harm awards for clinical safety this year. Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, which continues to put stress on staffing and equipment, South Carolina hospitals continue to rise to the challenge of putting patient safety first. These awards collectively represent 314,414 patient days without medical harm, with a projected 1,729 hospital days avoided. These results illustrate the extraordinary commitment to the continued quality of care in South Carolina hospitals, even in the most trying of times.

The program will also include for the first time the Drive to Zero Suicide Award. Given in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, this award recognizes facilities that are embracing Zero Harm through the adoption of specific Zero Suicide strategies, from policy and screening enhancements to better data tracking and developing formal relationships with community mental health centers. Twenty hospitals will receive a Drive to Zero Suicide Award this year, an illustration of how committed South Carolina hospitals and health systems are to making a difference.

The clinically focused Certified Zero Harm Awards remains a unique statewide program thanks to SCHA’s collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC), who independently validates the hospital data. While the core focus of the awards remains—that hospitals must eliminate or avoid specific preventable hospital-acquired infections over a period of time—SCHA has modified the awards this year to focus on the prior 12-month period to better assess year-to-year progress. The program has also added a minimum procedure threshold and a new category, hospital-acquired pressure injuries.

“The Zero Harm program is a prime example of a successful partnership between the public and private sector that improves the quality of life in South Carolina,” says Karen Reynolds, Executive Director of Innovation at SCHA. “As medical errors continue to be a major concern across the country, South Carolina has developed a blueprint for reducing avoidable harm in our healthcare facilities that other states can follow.”

The Zero Harm program began in 2014 to recognize hospitals that are at the forefront of preventing medical errors, which is a leading cause of death in the United States. Thanks to support from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, the state’s hospitals and health systems have engaged in numerous statewide efforts to create a culture of high reliability and reduce harm in our facilities by implementing robust, evidence-based practices that are making a positive impact on patients and the safety and quality of care.

“Zero patient harm is possible only if physicians, clinical and support staff members work together to support a culture of high reliability,” says Reynolds. “Zero Harm Award winners are an inspiration to all hospitals across the state striving to provide best in class care for every patient.”

Media Contact: Schipp Ames
Title: Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Phone: 803.744.3543

For a full list of this year’s award winners, go to Below is our 2021 Zero Harm video, celebrating all of this year’s winners: