The A streaks continue at Englewood Community Hospital and Sarasota Memorial Hospital, which snagged the area’s best grades for hospital safety in ratings released Thursday.
In the latest rankings from Leapfrog Group, Fawcett Memorial Hospital and Bayfront Health Port Charlotte saw some improvement, while Venice Regional Bayfront Health dropped down a grade, and Bayfront Health Punta Gorda maintained the area’s lowest grade with another D.
Fawcett Memorial Hospital improved to a B, which was up from a C in the spring. It also had Bs in 2017, and fall of 2016, but got a C in spring of 2016, and before that had A’s in 2015.
“Patient care and safety continues to be of the utmost importance at Fawcett Memorial Hospital and we are committed to transparency by sharing accurate, meaningful information about quality performance,” said Fawcett spokesperson Alexandria Davis. “We have a strong history of exceptional performance with many rating organizations, including the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award, putting our hospital in the top 5 percent in the nation for patient safety.”
Bayfront Port Charlotte also improved, rising to a C from straight Ds since 2016. It was not scored in 2015.
Bevin Holzschuh, spokesperson for both Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, said the hospitals are “committed to providing safe, quality care for every patient, and our hospitals continue to take every opportunity to further increase quality and service.”
At Bayfront Health Port Charlotte, Holzschuh said even with the latest increase in grade, they are steadfast on driving the grade even higher.
“One approach we can attribute to this increase is infection prevention,” she said. “When compared to similar hospitals, Bayfront Health Port Charlotte scored ‘above average’ for all measures related to healthcare-associated infections. And Bayfront Health Port Charlotte was just recognized by the Agency for Health Care Administration as being 1 of only 20 hospitals in the state to receive Florida’s Award for Safely Reducing Primary C-Sections.”
Bayfront Punta Gorda got a D in the latest fall Leapfrog grade, just as it has in the spring. Last fall, it had received a C, which was up from D in spring of 2017, along with D’s in spring and fall of 2016. Before that, the hospital received B’s in 2015.
“We are disappointed that we missed receiving a higher grade with this release,” said Holzschuh. “This grade does not fully reflect the quality of care we provide. Tracking quality data, daily attention to process improvement, and collaboration between our employees and the medical staff support the delivery of quality care and our improvements over time.”
Meanwhile, Venice Regional Bayfront Health dropped to a C in its latest Leapfrog grade. That was after snagging a B in the fall, which was its highest grade since 2015. In 2017, the hospital got Cs, which was up from Ds in 2016. In 2015, it also received Ds.
“We are disappointed to have barely missed keeping a Leapfrog ‘B’ grade at Venice Regional Bayfront Health,” said Bob Hite, spokesperson for the hospital. “Many of the rated categories remain similar to the spring grades and are as good as, or better than, national averages.”
For example, Hite noted that Venice Regional is performing above average for the categories of controlling MRSA, Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections, and Surgical Site Infections for Colon Surgery.
“We haven’t had a Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection in over a year, also better than national averages,” said Hite. “And we are in the top 10% nationally for the control of C. Difficile. Providing safe, quality care for our patients is our top priority. Our dedicated teams of professional caregivers are continuously focused on further increasing quality and service.”
Leapfrog, a national not-for-profit organization, issues grades twice every year in spring and fall, according to its website.
In its Fall 2018 survey, an expert panel evaluated more than 2,600 general acute-care hospitals throughout the country. Grades are based on 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data.
Leapfrog’s grading system assigns grades A, B, C, D or F, based on hospital performance in preventing medical errors, infections and other injuries among patients.
For SMH, there are only As listed on Leapfrog’s website for the hospital.
“Being recognized with successive A’s speaks to the diligence of our entire team to put safety first as we care for our patients,” said Dr. James Fiorica, Sarasota Memorial’s chief medical officer in a statement. “As the region’s only public hospital, we are proud to set the benchmark for quality care in our community.”
Englewood Community Hospital’s A streak has also continued.
“We are thrilled to have earned our 12th consecutive ‘A’ for patient safety from the Leapfrog Group,” said Englewood Community Hospital CEO Valerie Powell-Stafford, in a statement. “This reflects the collective commitment of our leadership, physicians, and staff have to keeping the patient first in everything we do.”
About 32 percent of the graded hospitals got As, 24-percent got Bs, 37 percent snagged Cs, 6 percent got Ds, and Fs went to just under 1 percent.
Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grades are a resource for patients, along with a benchmark for hospitals to determine how their care compares to others in a region, said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, in a statement.
“Hospitals that earn an A Hospital Safety Grade deserve to be recognized for their efforts in preventing medical harm and errors,” Binder said.
The grading uses national performance measures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey and Health Information Technology Supplement.