Hospital safety

Fall hospital safety grades were released Thursday by the nonprofit Leapfrog Group for thousands of hospitals across the country.

Leapfrog Hospital Safety grades were released Thursday for our hospitals.

Leapfrog is a national nonprofit organization that releases hospital safety grades in spring and fall. It assigns A, B, C, D and F letter grades to general acute-care hospitals throughout the country. Leapfrog describes itself as "the nation's only rating focused entirely on patient safety — preventable errors, accidents, injuries and infections."

Hospitals in Charlotte County got C's, including Bayfront Port Charlotte, Bayfront Punta Gorda and Fawcett Memorial Hospital.

Fawcett's latest fall grade dropped from a B in the spring. The hospital also got B's in 2017 and a B in fall of 2018, but a C in spring of 2018. 

Bayfront Port Charlotte also received C's this past spring and in the fall of 2018. It received D's in 2017 and in the spring of 2018.

Bayfront Punta Gorda maintained a C from the spring. In 2018, it received D's and then in 2017, it got a C in the fall and a D in the spring.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Doctors Hospital of Sarasota and Englewood Community Hospital have all recieved straight A's in that time.

Venice Regional Bayfront Health snagged a B, improving from a C in both the spring and fall of 2018. The hospital also had a B in spring of 2018, but C's in 2017. 

Charlotte County doesn't have a trauma center, so any patients needing that type of care are taken to Lee County or Sarasota County.

Lee Health hospitals, including Lee Memorial Hospital, Healthpark Medical Center, Cape Coral Hospital and Gulf Coast Medical Center also received A's.

DeSoto Memorial Hospital is not listed with a grade by Leapfrog. A Leapfrog spokesperson told the Sun not all hospitals have data publicly available for the 28 measures they look at. Many rural or small hospitals are unable to report substantial data to the federal government because of low patient volumes or fewer services.

"In stark contrast to 20 years ago, we're now able to pinpoint where the problems are, and that allows us to grade hospitals," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, in a news release Thursday. "It also allows us to better track progress. Encouragingly, we are seeing fewer deaths from the preventable errors we monitor in our grading process."

Leapfrog cites a study showing nearly 100,000 lives are lost every year due to preventable medical errors.

More than 2,600 hospitals were graded across the country. Roughly 33% earned an A, 25% a B, 34% a C, 8% a D and just under 1% got an F.

More information on the grades for each hospital is at: www.hospitalsafetygrade.org/

Here's what the hospitals said about their grades:

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda - C's

The hospitals released this joint statement: "Although there was no movement in our letter grades, both Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda have seen improvements in our infection rates, patient safety indicators and the overall patient experience. Since the spring release, Bayfront Health Port Charlotte has improved in multiple measures to include Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI), C Difficile (C Diff.) infections and bed sores, all of which Bayfront Health Port Charlotte performed better than national average when compared to other hospitals. And at Bayfront Health Punta Gorda, improvements were seen in numerous measures as well, including identification of serious complications and collapsed lung, also scoring better than national average. Both Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda continue to receive the highest possible score in both effective leadership to prevent errors and having enough nurses, with the right qualified training, to care for our patients. Providing safe compassionate care is a commitment that we hold our leaders accountable to, and ensuring our caregivers have the tools that they need to provide the perfect, and safest, patient experience."

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota - A

"Our entire team is dedicated to providing the best and safest care to every patient. It is part of our culture and what we do every day. I thank all our nurses, physicians and care teams for their hard work and commitment," said CEO of Doctors Hospital of Sarasota Robert Meade in a statement about the hospital's 11th consecutive A.

Englewood Community Hospital - A

“Our team at Englewood Community Hospital continues to put our patients first in every aspect of patient care. Their continued commitment and focus to ensure the level of care we provide is ‘A’ rated is reflective of our 15th consecutive Straight ‘A’ from The Leapfrog Group," said Englewood Community Hospital CEO Michael Ehrat in a statement from the hospital.

"This outstanding achievement shows longstanding commitment to a culture of safety that puts patients first,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, in a statement from the hospital. “For Englewood Community Hospital, saving lives by preventing accidents, injuries, infections and errors is business as usual, and your community should be proud. We commend the staff, faculty, volunteers, leadership and board of directors for their never-ending quest for the highest standards of patient safety.”

Fawcett Memorial Hospital - C

The hospital released this statement: "Fawcett Memorial Hospital is dedicated to providing our community with high quality healthcare services and delivering this care compassionately and safely, exemplified by our 2019 Patient Safety Excellence award from Healthgrades, putting Fawcett in the top 10% in the nation for patient safety. We will continue to work hard each day to enhance the quality of patient care by focusing on the needs of each patient and supporting them as partners throughout their hospital stay."

Lee Health hospitals - A

“Every patient should feel confident they are receiving safe health care when they visit the hospital, and we are thrilled to not only repeat our ‘Straight A’ report card, but also improve our overall safety score at all four adult hospitals. This recognition demonstrates the amazing work our doctors, advanced providers, nurses and support staff do to provide safe and compassionate care,” said Lee Health president and CEO Larry Antonucci, in a statement from the hospital. “Leapfrog is a national leader in driving quality health care and it is an honor to be recognized for our commitment to patient safety.”

Sarasota Memorial Hospital - A

SMH Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Fiorica said in a statement from the hospital that the hospital's performance reflects dedication and diligence of its team and shows they put quality and safety first.

“The rankings and ratings are very validating, but what matters most to us is how our patients feel and making sure they receive the best possible care,” Fiorica said in the statement.

Venice Regional Bayfront Health - B

The hospital released this statement: "The Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Grade is one of many resources consumers can use in consultation with their physician to make informed healthcare choices. The team at Venice Regional Bayfront Health is dedicated to the safety and well-being of our patients. We are pleased that our Leapfrog grade improved to a “B,” which underscores our commitment to continuous improvement. In many measures, we continue to perform at or better than national averages. For example, Venice Regional scored maximum points in the “Steps to Prevent Harm” categories. The hospital performs better than the Leapfrog national average in C. Difficile, Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI), SSI-colon, pneumothorax / collapsed lung, DVT / PE and accidental laceration / puncture. We also performed better than average in Catheter Associated UTI (CAUTI), retained foreign object, death among surgical patients, pressure ulcers, hospital falls and air embolism. We are pleased that the Leapfrog measures demonstrate our improvements in ICU physician staffing, nurse communication, communication with doctors, staff responsiveness, communication about medicines and discharge information. Several activities have contributed to improved scores in those areas. For example, we increased critical care certified physician staffing for the ICU and added specially certified nurses who are available to respond to changes in critical care patient conditions. We also have implemented a CEO and physician led high reliability team and engage all hospital leadership in daily rounding on patients. Additionally, we established a safety coach program with frontline staff observing delivery of care for use of error prevention tools and are proactive in addressing employees’ top patient safety concerns."

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