Several local hospitals received above-average scores in the latest hospital safety report card from industry watchdog, The Leapfrog Group, which uses letter grades to rate hospitals on their performance.
All area hospitals scored passing grades on the bi-annual report card, which each spring and fall grades general admission hospitals on how well they prevent avoidable harm to their patients, including medication errors, on-site injuries, accidents and infections.
The grades are based on a review of safety issues reported to Leapfrog in a separate annual hospital survey or to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The report card doesn’t include all hospitals because participation is voluntary.
Local hospitals receiving “A” grades were: Atrium Medical Center in Middletown; West Chester Hospital in West Chester Twp.; and McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford.
“The safety of our patients is our top priority at West Chester Hospital,” said Tom Daskalakis, interim chief administrative officer for West Chester Hospital. “We are proud that our vigilant efforts to provide a safe environment for our patients have been once again recognized by the Leapfrog Group.
Patient safety is also top of mind for Atrium, according to an official at Premier Health, which owns the Middletown hospital.
“We have an internal scorecard, and we take these reports very seriously. We really focus on trying to improve safety for every patient every time,” said Dr. Tammy Lundstrom, chief medical officer for Premier Health.
Fort Hamilton Hospital and Bethesda Butler Hospital in Hamilton each received “B” grades.
Cincinnati area hospitals received the following grades:
- Bethesda North Hospital: “A”
- Good Samaritan Hospital of Cincinnati: “A”
- Mercy Health - West Hospital: “B”
- The Christ Hospital: “A”
- The University (of Cincinnati) Hospital: “C”
An analysis of hospital safety data by researchers at John Hopkins University School of Medicine found that despite considerable improvement in the safety of hospital care nationwide since the score card’s launch in 2012, avoidable deaths remain high.
Compared to “A”-grade hospitals, those hospitals receiving “B” grades had a 9 percent higher risk of avoidable death, while the risk was 35 percent higher in “C”-grade hospitals and 50 percent higher in hospitals receiving “D” and “F” grades, the analysis found.
“It is time for every hospital in America to put patient safety at the top of their priority list, because tens of thousands of lives are stake,” said Leapfrog President and CEO Leah Binder. “The Hospital Safety Score alerts consumers to the dangers, but as this analysis shows, even “A” hospitals are not perfectly safe.”
The report also ranks states for overall hospital safety based on the percentage of “A” hospitals. In the latest report, Ohio ranked No. 16 with 44 out of 107 Ohio hospitals, 41 percent, receiving “A” grades. Ohio’s ranking was down a notch from No. 15 on the fall 2015 safety report card, but it was up six spots from its ranking a year ago.