Health Care and Nonprofits

Hospitals earn an 'A' for safety

May 8, 2014
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Hospital wins national award for patient satisfaction
Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital in East Grand Rapids was founded in 1846. Courtesy Spectrum Health

Four hospitals have earned an “A” for safety, while 11 hospitals in the region have received a “B” or “C” mark.

The Spring 2014 update to the Hospital Safety Score, administered by The Leapfrog Group, was released last week to grade general acute care patient safety at hospitals.

The Leapfrog Group is an advocate of hospital transparency and a nonprofit founded by employers and private health care experts in the nation.

The Leapfrog Group said the grades are intended to educate and encourage consumers to consider patient safety when selecting a hospital, as well as incentivize hospitals to make safety a priority.

Out of the 80 hospitals graded in the state, 28 were given a top score for patient safety, resulting in a state rank of 15.

A-grade hospitals

North Ottawa Community Hospital, Grand Haven

Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, Grand Rapids

Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital, East Grand Rapids

Saint Mary’s Health Care, Grand Rapids

Dr. John Collins, chief quality officer at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, said the hospital has consistently ranked at the highest levels for patient safety and will continue to value safety in providing care and services to patients.

“We put our highest priority on safety: for patients, visitors, family, staff, physicians and all who work in the hospital,” Collins said. “We have consistently ranked very well in these surveys.”

B-grade hospitals

Bronson Battle Creek, Battle Creek

Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo

Spectrum Health United, Greenville

C-grade hospitals

Borgess Medical Center, Kalamazoo

Community Health Center of Branch County, Coldwater

Lakeland Community Hospital Niles, Niles

Lakeland Regional Medical Center-St. Joseph, St. Joseph

Mercy Health Hackley Campus, Muskegon

Mercy Health Mercy Campus, Muskegon

Metro Health Hospital, Wyoming

Pennock Hospital, Hastings

Methodology

The Hospital Safety Score incorporates 28 performance measures from several sources: the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The data was also divided into two categories: process and structural measures and outcome measures.

A composite score was calculated for more than 2,500 hospitals in the U.S. based on a hospital’s ability to prevent errors and accidents, in addition to processes in place to protect patients.

The scores include a range of measures: death among surgical inpatients with serious treatable complications; falls and trauma; foreign object retained after surgery; leadership structures and systems; nursing workforce; hand hygiene and patients receiving correct antibiotic treatment.

The Leapfrog Group worked with a panel of patient safety experts to develop the methodology for assigning hospitals letter grades, including “D” and “F”.

Safety improvements

The Spring 2014 Hospital Safety Score reveals about 33 percent of hospitals saw at least a 10-percent improvement in performance since 2012, which is a result of improving processes and safety practices. The score also indicates a mean improvement of 6.3 percent in hospital performance since 2012.

Leah Binder, president and chief executive officer at The Leapfrog Group, said the data shows that hospitals are working harder to create a safe environment.

“An institution could have the best surgeons in the world, but if the aftercare is lacking and the patient develops an infection as a result, then the hospital has failed to protect its patient,” Binder said. 

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