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September 21, 2020

South Carolina Hospitals Earn More Zero Harm Awards Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) is pleased to announce that we have recognized a record-breaking 59 SC hospitals who collectively won 239 Certified Zero Harm Awards this year. Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, which led to stresses on staffing and equipment and led to additional complexities for patient safety, South Carolina hospitals rose to the challenge. These awards collectively represent 165,997 infection-free central line days and 21,552 surgical procedures with no medically caused harm and illustrate the extraordinary commitment to quality of care in South Carolina hospitals, even in the most trying of times.

The Certified Zero Harm Awards is a unique statewide program thanks to SCHA’s collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC). For each award, hospitals must eliminate or avoid specific preventable hospital-acquired infections over an extended period of time, and that data must be independently verified by DHEC. This unique third-party verification process with the state health department provides exceptional legitimacy to these patient safety awards and is a testament to the spirit of statewide collaboration that has resulted in more than 1000 Zero Harm Awards over the history of the program.

“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, Director of Innovation and Acceleration 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 on 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 and The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Health, SCHA and South Carolina hospitals 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 safe, quality care for every patient.”

For a full list of 2020 Certified Zero Harm Award winners, click here. For press inquiries or additional information about the program, contact Schipp Ames at