Abbeville Area Medical Center Receives Zero Harm Awards

(l-r) Lara Hewitt, SCHA VP of Education & Member Services was on hand to present AAMC’s Zero Harm Awards to Paul Crawford, Trustee; Gene Pruitt, Board Chair; Charlotte Campbell, BSN, RN, CMSRN-Inpatient Nursing Director/Interim CNO; Kristie Warner, RN-Surgical Services Manager; Dean Turner, CEO; and Chris Oxendine, MD, Board Member.


Hospital recognized for its dedication to eliminating medical errors by the South Carolina Hospital Association

Abbeville Area Medical Center was recently named a 2019 Zero Harm hospital in recognition of its clinical excellence and strong commitment to quality and patient safety.

AAMC was acknowledged for having zero hospital acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) for 60 months, zero central line associated blood stream infections (CLASBI) hospital wide for 12 months and zero surgical site infections of the knee for 72 months. This brings the hospital’s total number of Zero Harm Awards since 2014 to 19.

“Receiving Zero Harm awards is a testament to our staff’s dedication and commitment to providing high quality care to our patients in the safest environment possible,” stated Dean Turner, AAMC CEO. “I commend our hospital staff for their diligence and for consistently taking the steps necessary to protect those in our care.”

The Certified Zero Harm Awards is a unique statewide program established by the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control (DHEC). For each award, hospitals must experience no preventable hospital-acquired infections of a specific nature over an extended period of time, and that data is independently verified by DHEC. This unique third-party verification process provides exceptional legitimacy to these awards that result in real lives saved. 

“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 Rick Toomey, Director of DHEC. “As medical errors continue to be a major concern across the country, South Carolina is a national leader in eliminating harm and improving patient safety.”

The Zero Harm program began in 2014 acknowledging hospitals that are on the forefront of preventing medical errors, which by some estimates is the third leading cause of death in the United States with an adverse economic impact of up to 1 trillion dollars annually. Thanks to support from The Duke Endowment 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. 

According to Karen Reynolds, Director of Innovation and Acceleration at SCHA, the awards are all part of the Association’s efforts to guide and support the state’s hospitals in adopting best practices and implementing cultures of high reliability.
“Zero patient harm is possible only if physicians, clinical and support staff members work together to support a culture of high reliability,” Reynolds says. “Zero Harm Award winners are an inspiration to all hospitals across the state striving to provide measurably safe care for every patient.”