Catholic Health receives area's top grades in Leapfrog safety report

Thirty-eight of the participating New Jersey hospitals received the highest grade of A in the fall Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade

To compare hospitals and calculate grades, patient safety experts examine data from various entities such as Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Leapfrog, and American Hospital Association. Almost three-fourths scored an A or a B, which was better than the national average. The 5 states with the lowest percentage of top-ranked hospitals are Connecticut, Nebraska, Washington, DC; Delaware, and North Dakota. According to The Leapfrog Group, the rating system focuses on errors, accidents, injuries and infections.

Leapfrog letter grades for the same hospital can vary from one rating period to the next, and the scores may not reflect a hospital's current performance level.

St. Joseph's University Medical Center in Paterson was among 855 hospitals across the receive the highest grade. But some data on hospital-acquired conditions patient safety indicators cover incidents between 2015 and 2017. "From the moment Prime Healthcare took ownership of the hospital, patient safety and continuous quality improvement were the top priority".

The only local hospital to get a C in the fall 2018 rating period was WakeMed Cary Hospital.

"Leapfrog's Hospital Safety Grades recognize hospitals like Swedish Medical Center that focus on advancing patient safety". WakeMed Cary was worse than the national average in blood infection rates, one of the key measures recommended by Leapfrog.

"University Hospital knows that patient trust is built upon the quality and safety of care we provide", said Dr. Lawrence Ramunno, chief medical officer at University Hospital.

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"Their patient experience surveys show that patients are happier with them on measures that we know from research", like communication about medicines, "are correlated with safety". Since last summer, his department has been working closely with University Hospital to address a number of quality and financial challenges and is leading an infection-control campaign to assess practices at a handful of long-term pediatric facilities, two of which have been struck with a viral outbreak that killed 10 highly vulnerable patients. Rush University Medical Center, however, dropped from A to B for the first time in the history of the report. The state was also tops for the rate of hospitals participating in the survey.

Other Triangle hospitals that got As in the fall ranking are: UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, UNC Rex in Raleigh, WakeMed Raleigh, Duke Raleigh and Duke Regional in Durham.

"Receiving an "A" grade from the Leapfrog Group is a reflection of our steadfast commitment to safety and the delivery of excellent patient care", said Darrell K. Terry Sr., the president and CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center and Children's Hospital of New Jersey. Independent nonprofit, The Leapfrog Group, administers the scoring. Before patients are administered drugs, nurses are expected to ensure the barcode on the medication matches the barcode on the patient's wrist.

"We answered questions incorrectly regarding our hand hygiene education programs and our medication administration scanning technology", Gupta said. Other safety problems tracked include bed sores and air bubbles in the bloodstream. And Leapfrog also assesses training, staffing and hospital protocols.

In addition to the new measure, the Leapfrog Group also modified how it evaluates hospitals' performance on the computerized physician order entry measure (CPOE). "We just think there's a wealth of information out there that consumers deserve to have that they don't have about the safety and quality of care, particularly safety", she said.

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