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Meritus Health reaffirms commitment to transparency and quality

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“The only acceptable measure of patient harm is zero.” - Maulik Joshi, Dr.P.H.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. – Meritus Health, like most health systems, tracks patient harm events daily, sharing them at bed huddle report outs and with senior leaders each morning. However, the largest integrated health system in Western Maryland recently launched a public-facing campaign, “Zero Harm” where data is being shared with the community.

“I think hospitals often have shied away from sharing instances of patient harm, for fear of damaging their reputation,” explained Maulik Joshi, Dr.P.H., president and CEO. “We firmly believe that knowledge is power, and by sharing this with our community we are arming them with the ability to improve their health.”

Meritus Health launched its Zero Harm campaign this week, on National Fall Prevention Day, to highlight the risks and realities of patient harm events, to include falling. The multipronged initiative includes quarterly focuses which are highlighted via regular employee education and updates on the health system’s intranet, a public-facing community website with resources and education, a display about the initiative in the system’s flagship facility, Meritus Medical Center, and public-facing whiteboards on each unit of the hospital, where the days since the last reported fall occurred on the unit is posted. Visitors are given flyers about the initiative and educated by care teams about fall prevention and risks for falling, so they can help flag issues, such as a new side effect from a medication, for example.

“Including visitors in the care plan to help flag concerns to our care teams provides us an offense in stopping patient harm events,” Joshi said.

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