Miles to go: an introduction to the 5 Million Lives Campaign

Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2007 Aug;33(8):477-84. doi: 10.1016/s1553-7250(07)33051-1.


Background: The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)'s 5 Million Lives Campaign targets a reduction of five million instances of harm from December 2006 through December 2008. The campaign continues the six interventions of the 100,000 Lives Campaign and adds six more.

Definition of medical harm and setting the goal: The campaign's aim is to support the reduction of medical harm, so defined: "Unintended physical injury resulting from or contributed to by medical care (including the absence of indicated medical treatment), that requires additional monitoring, treatment, or hospitalization, or that results in death." The goal of a reduction of five million incidents of harm in two years is based on an estimate that 40 to 50 incidents occur per 100 admissions, for a total of 15 million incidents of medical harm each year in the United States. THE 5 MILLION LIVES CAMPAIGN'S "PLATFORM": This campaign's six new interventions address the prevention of pressure ulcers, reduction of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, prevention of harm from high-alert medications, reduction of surgical complications, delivery of reliable and evidence-based care for congestive heart failure, and getting hospitals' boards of directors on board.

Conclusion: Together with complementary partner initiatives, the 5 Million Lives Campaign is intended to act as a major driver of national improvement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Benchmarking
  • Health Policy
  • Hospital Administration / standards*
  • Humans
  • Organizational Objectives*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Safety
  • Safety Management / organization & administration*