Update: Hospitals weigh in on Delaware’s low ranking in Leapfrog safety survey

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The Fall 2017Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades ranked Delaware 49tth among the 50 states.

The six hospitals listed in Delaware earned B and C grades for safety but did not record any A grades that would have improved the overall ranking.

Comments from hospital industry

Hospital officials vowed to continue to focus on safety, with one questiioning the completenessof the report and others saying awareness of such rankings is important.

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“At Christiana Care, we are committed to providing safe, highly reliable care and an exceptional experience to everyone we serve. As we work to deliver expert, effective care that our neighbors value, we gain insights from all of the respected national hospital ratings systems that help us to continually improve care,” said Sharon Anderson, senior vice president, quality, and patient safety, and Chief Population Health Officer at Christiana Care Health System.

Anderson continued, “Leapfrog is one such rating system; there are many others. Christiana Care Health System is recognized as a national leader in patient safety and quality by CareChex Hospital & Health System Quality Ratings, the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program and U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals rankings. Christiana Care recently earned the John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award, the nation’s preeminent recognition for quality and safety in healthcare, and the Stand Up for Patient Safety Management Award from the National Patient Safety Foundation.”

Christiana’s two hospitals were included in the rankings.

“As you are aware, Saint Francis Hospital is part of Trinity Health, the second largest faith-based hospital system in the country having greater than 95 hospitals in 21 states across the country, as well as Extended Care facilities and PACE programs,” stated Dr. Michael Polnerow of Saint Francis Healthcare. “The system in total, as well as Saint Francis locally have robust programs addressing all nationally recognized Patient and Colleague safety goals, infection and complication rates, readmission rates and lengths of stay. Our data is collected and reported monthly and is available to all government reporting agencies and non-subscription requiring organizations. We do not participate with the Leapfrog organization, leaving much of their data incomplete and not current.”

Dr. Eric Gloss, vice president, Medical Affairs, Bayhealth, stated the following: “Like many other hospitals, Bayhealth is not a member of Leapfrog and the data presented in their report is limited to only that publicly available. Delawareans can be sure that Bayhealth has a strong safety culture that protects our patients, visitors, and employees. Additionally, Bayhealth is the first Delaware hospital instituting High-Reliability Organization principles and practices that will increase further the quality of care we provide.”

Bayhealth’s Kent General Hospital in Dover was included in the survey. However, Milford Memorial Hospital was not listed.

“Beebe Healthcare supports The Leapfrog Group’s efforts to provide transparency for quality and safety in healthcare. Providing a Hospital Safety Grade for individual hospitals helps educate and empower health care consumers so they may make an informed choice as to where to seek medical care for themselves and their loved ones,” stated Marcy Jack, chief quality and safety officer. “Beebe Healthcare’s goal is to consistently achieve a Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade of “A” and we have multidisciplinary teams in place and are implementing strategies to achieve the best outcomes and lowest complication rates and bring hospital acquired infection rates to their lowest attainable and sustainable level with the ultimate goal of zero.”

Beebe operates a hospital in Lewes.

Leapfrog’s bi-annual state rankings analysis found significant improvements in five states since the inception of the Safety Grades in 2012.

States showing improvement

Oregon, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Wisconsin, and Idaho showed the most improvement over the five-year period since the inception of the Hospital Safety Grade, with the most dramatic being Rhode Island, which was ranked 50thin 2012 and ranked first today. Other states with significant improvement include Oregon, going from 48thin 2012 to eighth today, Hawaii from 36thto third, Wisconsin from 44thto sixth, and Idaho from 19th to fourth.

Rhode Island, which had a comparable number of hospitals when compared to Delaware, rose sharply in the rankings because many of its hospitals earned A grades.

“What we’ve learned is that transparency has a real impact on patient safety. By making the Hospital Safety Grades public, we’ve galvanized major changes in these states and many communities,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog. “Not only does it require dedication from national organizations, such as Leapfrog, to make this information public, but also from local coalitions, regional leaders, employers, business leaders and other community organizations to work with these hospitals and their communities to improve the quality and safety of healthcare.”

Maryland supplies information

One state appears in the state rankings for the first time, the state of Maryland. Maryland had previously been the only state unable to be graded due to an exemption from reporting key safety metrics at the national level. However, Maryland ranked fourth from the bottom.

Of the 44 hospitals graded in Maryland, just one (2.3%), Howard County General Hospital in Columbia, earned an “A”.

“Errors and infections in hospitals are the third leading cause of death in America, and people deserve to know which of their hospitals are best at preventing them,” said Binder.

Additional findings include:

  • – Of the 2,632 hospitals graded in today’s update, 832 earned an “A,” 662 a “B,” 964 a “C,” 159 a “D” and 15 an “F”
  • – Hospitals with “F” grades are located in California, Washington D.C., Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, and New York
  • – The five states with the highest percentage of “A” hospitals this fall are Rhode Island, Maine, Hawaii, Idaho and Virginia

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is updated every six months.

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