How safe is your hospital? Local hospitals receive safety rating

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) – How safe is your hospital?
That’s the question one nationwide group is attempting to answer with its hospital safety rating system.

According to the group’s website, Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades are assigned to more than 2,600 acute-care hospitals across the nation twice annually.

“The Leapfrog Group is an independent, national not-for-profit organization founded more than a decade ago by the nation’s leading employers and private health care experts. We strive to make giant “leaps” forward in the safety, quality and affordability of health care in the U.S. by promoting transparency through our data collection and public reporting initiatives… The survey is a trusted, transparent and evidence-based national tool in which more than 1,800 hospitals voluntarily participate free of charge.”

The non-profit calls itself a national leader and advocate in hospital transparency. According to its website, the safety grade uses national performance measures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey and Health Information Technology Supplement.

In our area, Leapfrog gave the following grades:

-LewisGale Medical Center (A)
-LewisGale Hospital Montgomery ( C )
– LewisGale Hospital – Alleghany (A)
-LewisGale Hospital – Pulaski ( C )

-Greenbrier Valley Medical Center (B)

-Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (C )
-Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital (B)
-Carilion New River Valley Medical Center (A)

President of LewisGale Medical Center, Brian Baumgarder, said the Leapfrog rating system is a well known and well regarded system. He said the system relies on voluntary participation and submission of data.

At the end of last year the hospital was rated as a C. Baumgarder said the entire staff worked hard to concentrate on lower scoring areas such as preventing infections.

“It’s an inherently dangerous environment, The things that we do for patients are invasive and potentially dangerous,” he said. “So to make sure that it’s as safe as possible is in all of our best interests.”

Baumgarnder said the entire staff is incredibly pleased with the results. He said an A rating is what they want and expect of the staff. As for the other LewisGale affilicated hospitals, Baumgardner said they will continue to focus on improving those hospitals in needed areas for the sake of the patients, not just the rating system. He said C is regarded as an average measure.

We also reached out to the staff at Carilion regarding that hospital’s score. Dr. Jonathan Gleason, Vice President of Clinical Advancement, delivered the following statement:

“Carilion New River Valley Medical Center received an “A” grade. Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital received a “B” rating. Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital received a “C” grade.

Carilion Clinic’s number one priority is patient safety. We have a strong quality and patient safety team, equipped with all forms of technology to help us deliver the excellent care that our community expects and deserves. We are entirely committed to eliminating all forms of preventable harm, and to providing world-class medical care in western Virginia.

These grades are drawn from complex calculations that reflect outcomes data from years prior. More recent data would show that the number of Healthcare Acquired Infections and other indicators of quality are significantly better than what is being reported in these grades. We are improving every single day.

The latest Leapfrog grades are just one tool of many that patients can consider when making health care decisions such as choosing a hospital. U.S. News and World Report’s ratings are also a useful tool. This past August, they recognized Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital as one of the top three hospitals in the state. Additionally, they recognized the hospital as one of only 48 nationwide, and the only one in Virginia, to be rated ‘high performing’ in all nine surgical procedures and chronic conditions reviewed, putting us in the top 1 percent of hospitals evaluated.

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital is our region’s largest referral hospital, and the region’s only Level-1 Trauma Center. We regularly receive the sickest patients from 38 hospitals – those in need of more acute care due to their conditions or the complexity of their cases. “

You can read each hospital’s full rating and learn more about Leapfrog by clicking on the link attached to this article.

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