Safest Care and Best Outcomes

annual report nurse talking to patient Safety comes first in all that we do at Henry Ford Health, and is a focus of every interaction, every decision and every patient-care plan.

Employees and leaders are working to not just reduce, but eliminate all medical errors within the organization. Partnerships with other organizations create larger scale, forward-thinking initiatives that improve heart attack survival, ensure bias-free care, and reduce the likelihood of opioid addiction. Through thoughtful planning, training and investment, Henry Ford is creating an environment that keeps our patients safe and ultimately, results in the best outcomes possible.

Enhancing Safety Within and Beyond our Walls

  • Cardiogenic Shock Initiative
    Henry Ford Health-led collaboration with five Detroit health systems. Developed protocol and raised survival after heart attack from 51 to 76 percent.

  • American Hospital Association 1-2-3 for Equity Pledge
    90+ percent of employees completed online training course.

  • HIMSS Davies Award
    Using Epic to reduce venous thromboembolism by 50 percent.

  • Henry Ford Health Leading Opioid Abuse Prevention
    In partnership with the State of Michigan.

Cardiogenic Shock Initiative

Unprecedented Collaboration Increases Heart Attack Survival

Survival rates in patients experiencing a life-threatening side-effect to a heart attack have dramatically improved, thanks to an unprecedented collaboration of five metro Detroit health systems led by Henry Ford Health’s William W. O’ Neill, M.D.

William W. O’ Neill, M.D., medical director, Center for Structural Heart Disease, and Adam Greenbaum, M.D., co-director, working together in the Henry Ford Hospital Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.

The Detroit Cardiogenic Shock Initiative – a protocol to treat patients in shock after a massive heart attack – raised survival rates from 51 to 76 percent. The new protocol, using the FDA-approved, straw-sized Impella heart pump, is now being adopted by health systems across the United States, under the leadership of Dr. O’Neill, medical director, Henry Ford Center for Structural Heart Disease.

“This effort shows the powerful advances we can make to save lives by working together,” says Dr. O’Neill. “It’s gratifying to see these results; survival rates for patients in cardiogenic shock had not changed in 30 years.”

In some patients experiencing a massive heart attack, the heart is unable to provide blood to vital organs and the patient goes into shock. For the protocol, cardiologists insert the tiny pump through a catheter in the groin or hand and into the heart soon after the patient arrives at the hospital. The pump keeps blood flowing to vital organs while doctors then treat the cause of the heart attack, either inserting a stent, removing a clot or taking other necessary action.

Learn more about the Center for Structural Heart Disease.

In an effort to save lives across the United States, Dr. O’Neill is now helping other health systems implement the protocol through the National Cardiogenic Shock Initiative. He hosted the first meeting of registered members of the protocol in November in Denver at TCT 2017, an annual educational conference for specialists in interventional cardiovascular medicine. He and the team were met by standing-room-only crowds of cardiologists during presentations about the effort at the Denver Convention Center.

2017 Safety Initiative Highlights

annual report rely on us
  • Henry Ford formally embarked on a high reliability journey to eliminate medical errors and hard-wire reliability in every capacity. In 2017, the System did the groundwork to ensure that all 30,000 employees will receive Zero Harm training and education in 2018.
  • Henry Ford providers are actively engaged in helping combat the opioid epidemic in Michigan. Last year, System providers prescribed more than seven million opioid pills and patches. They made a commitment to reduce that number by 40 percent. Ongoing initiatives across the System include educational programs, improved reporting to providers on prescribing, new guidelines for opioid use, multiple Epic enhancements including a direct link to the State MAPS program, and expanded opioid disposal centers. Together, Henry Ford providers are committed to reducing opioid use and maintaining comfort and pain management for all patients.
  • In conjunction with the American Hospital Association’s 1-2-3 for Equity Pledge, Henry Ford is leading change in equitable, bias-free care. More than 90 percent of employees participated in a training program created by Henry Ford Health, outpacing other participating health systems.
  • Quality Safety Achievements graph
    Hospital-Acquired Infections
  • In 2017, hospital-acquired infections dropped by 17 percent and catheter-associated urinary tract infections decreased by nearly 60 percent.
  • The Joint Commission accredited Henry Ford Allegiance Health, Henry Ford Hospital and Henry Ford Medical Group, and Henry Ford Kingswood Hospital in 2017. (Other System hospitals are accredited on a different schedule.)
  • The System achieved ambulatory quality metrics targets, including diabetes control and cancer screening.
  • When patients leave a Henry Ford hospital, staff ensure they continue to be safe. Expanded efforts in 2017 include establishing a preferred skilled nursing facility network and launching caregiver support programs.
  • By expanding the patient advisor program, the System now receives more feedback from patients and family member on their experiences, which is used to plan changes and continually improve patient care delivery.


Henry Ford has won every national quality award. In 2017, Henry Ford’s commitment to quality and safety were recognized with multiple awards, including the following. See all of our 2017 awards.

Davies Award
2017 System Annual Report

Henry Ford Health

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