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Leading the Nation in Quality

Advancing the health of the people we serve by leading the nation in quality and patient safety.

"In collaboration with our affiliated, clinically integrated physicians, we have built a system of care that ensures timely, accurate, safe and effective treatments."

High-Reliability Healthcare

Most people consider hospitals safe havens where they go to get well, not places where they could suffer a harmful event resulting in greater illness or even death. They expect hospitals to be high-reliability organizations (HROs),where zero error is the norm. The reality, however, is far different.

According to a 2010 report by the U.S. Office of the Inspector General, one in seven Medicare beneficiaries - representing 13.5 percent - suffers a preventable serious adverse event during a hospital stay. We believe that hospitals can and should aspire to be HROs, and we've taken the necessary steps to achieve that status at Memorial Hermann Health System.

By 2010, the results of our quality and patient safety initiatives became encouragingly apparent, and we continue to raise the bar. When blood transfusions for the January 2007 to June 2013 time period were tallied for a population of 1.6 million adjusted inpatients and 8.5 million days of care, more than 827,000 transfusions had been administered with zero cases of blood incompatibility. Several of our hospitals have gone years without a case of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) or a central line associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI). In addition, serious medication errors decreased to zero for most months, even though more than a million medications were administered per month.

Our successful efforts have led to numerous awards and recognitions by independent healthcare rating agencies, culminating in the 2012 Eisenberg Patient Safety Award. Presented by the National Quality Forum (NQF) and The Joint Commission, the award recognizes us as a national leader in delivering safe, effective healthcare with a patient-centered focus. Memorial Hermann was the first health system in Texas to earn this distinction.

When we embarked on our journey to become a high reliability organization, we didn't do it to win awards. We did it in the best interests of our patients and their families. While we are encouraged by our achievements, we also recognize that becoming an HRO is a never-ending quest toward the achievable goal of zero harm to patients under our care.

In collaboration with our affiliated, clinically integrated physicians, we have built a system of care that ensures timely, accurate, safe and effective treatments. These efforts have paid off in national, regional and state recognition, making us the clear leader in Houston in quality and patient safety. 

We salute our employees and affiliated physicians who have made this achievement possible through their attention to high-reliability behaviors, evidence-based care and harm prevention. 


Michael Shabot Quality Report 2013

M. Michael Shabot, M.D.

System Chief Medical Officer
Memorial Hermann Health System

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Download Report PDF