Hospitals nationwide have put quality and safe patient care at the top of their agendas. However, across the country hospitals have been challenged with consistent adherence to procedures known to decrease medical errors and hospital-acquired infections. Following a 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine that as many as 98,000 people die annually as a result of medical errors, momentum began building for a coordinated effort to enhance safety procedures in American hospitals.
The Massachusetts-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement created the 100k Lives Campaign as a nationwide effort to prevent infections and deaths in hospitals and save 100,000 lives over an 18-month period. In Colorado, a leading philanthropic foundation, The Colorado Trust, funded a statewide media campaign, created by SE2, to increase awareness of the efforts of Colorado hospitals to increase patient safety. The campaign included community relations, newspaper and TV advertising, placement of media coverage, and the creation of support materials focused on workers in Colorado hospitals.
Sixty-two of Colorado's 71 acute care hospitals participated in the 100k Lives Campaign, representing 96 percent of all hospital beds in the state. The communications campaign created and executed by SE2 resulted in significant coverage in print and broadcast media as well as intensive communications technical assistance for the hospitals. At the end of the 18-month 100k Lives Campaign, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's 100,000 goal was surpassed, with an estimated 122,300 lives saved nationwide.