Venice Regional Bayfront Health

Venice Regional Bayfront Health got a “C” as its Health Safety Grade from the Leapfrog Group this week after seeing its grade rise to a “B” in the spring following lower grades the prior three years.

Venice Regional Bayfront Health received high marks in infection control again but still saw its Hospital Safety Grade from the Leapfrog Group drop from a “B” in the spring back to a “C” this week.

It’s the same grade it had in the spring and fall of 2017, and for several of the same reasons.

When the hospital’s grade rose to a “B” earlier this year, it was rated above average” in 19 out of 27 standards and below average in eight.

In the new report, three measures went from above average to below average and all the ones that were rated below average remained that way.

The hospital’s scores for dangerous blood clots, doctors ordering medication through a computer and staff working together to prevent errors all dropped to below average.

In fact, for at least two reports VRBH had received the top possible score, 100, for doctors ordering medication through a computer. In the latest report that score fell to 40.

Similarly, it received a top score of 120 for at least the prior two reports in staff working together to prevent errors. The score dropped to 64.62 in the latest report.

VRBH picked up one “above average” grade in a new standard, safe medication administration, but it didn’t offset the three that declined.

“We are disappointed to have barely missed keeping a Leapfrog ‘B’ grade at Venice Regional Bayfront Health,” Marketing Director Bob Hite said in a press statement. “Many of the rated categories remain similar to the Spring grades and are as good as, or better than, national averages.

“For example, Venice Regional is performing above average for the control of 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. And we are in the top 10 percent 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.”

While those efforts have paid off in many areas, the hospital has seen no improvement in seven measures for at least four consecutive reports.

Two were patient care statistics: collapsed lungs and serious breathing problems. Its score was only 0.01 below average for collapsed lungs, though.

Hite had said in April that the hospital was expecting more improvement, based on its recent experience.

The other five are patient satisfaction measures, from surveys by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: communications with nurses, communications with doctors, responsiveness of hospital staff, communication about medicines and communication about discharge.

None of the hospital’s scores in them has changed more than a point, plus or minus, in two years.

The hospital’s score for specially trained doctors to care for ICU patients also remains below average but improved from a 5 to a 15. The average hospital scored 49.17, with 100 being the top score.

Around the area

Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) received its fifth consecutive “A” grade from Leapfrog, joined by Englewood Community Hospital and Doctors Hospital, both of which have eight straight “A” grades, and Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, which has two in a row.

Fawcett Memorial Hospital, in Port Charlotte, saw its grade rise from a “C” to a “B” while Bayfront Health Port Charlotte went from a “D” to a “C.” Bayfront Health Punta Gorda’s grade remained a “D.”

The latter two facilities, like Venice Regional, are owned by Community Health Systems, of Tennessee.

Sarasota Memorial was rated above average in 15 measures, average in one and below average in seven. It declined to report in five.

Its scores for infection prevention were all worse than VRBH’s, though two were also rated above average, but its scores in the patient satisfaction categories were all above average.

“Being recognized with successive ‘A’s’ speaks to the diligence of our entire team to put safety first as we care for our patients,” Chief Medical Officer James Fiorica, M.D., said in a press statement. “As the region’s only public hospital, we are proud to set the benchmark for quality care in our community.”

The Leapfrog Group evaluated more than 2,600 acute-care hospitals in its report. Of them, 32 percent received an “A,” 24 percent received a “B,” 37 percent received a “C,” 6 percent received a “D” and just under 1 percent got an “F.”

For more information about the Leapfrog safety scores and to see the scores of other local facilities, visit HospitalSafetyGrade.org.

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