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Colorado hospitals boost safety grades
Fully one-third garner ‘A’s; none fail
By Ann Imse
Colorado Public News
The number of Colorado hospitals receiving an “A” grade for patient safety nearly doubled in the past six months, from seven to 13.
The Washington-based Leapfrog Group sets the grades nationwide and publicizes them to reduce the nearly 400 lives lost every day in U.S. hospitals due to preventable errors. These include hospital-borne infections and giving the patient the wrong medication or the wrong blood. Hospitals are ranked on their rates of such problems as well as related factors like staffing levels and prevention practices.
One-third of the 39 ranked Colorado hospitals received an “A” grade in a just-released report, while states like Maine and Massachusetts, with strong hospital safety programs, saw 80 percent or more receiving the top grade.
“Leapfrog is unbiased in telling the whole truth about how hospitals are doing, no matter how much discomfort that causes many of them. Consumers deserve ‘A’ hospitals and someday we may see all hospitals earning ‘A’s.’ However, we are not there yet,” said Keith Reissaus, board chair of The Leapfrog Group, in a media release.
Attaining an “A” once, however, didn’t mean staying in the top ranks. Two Colorado hospitals that received the highest grade in June slipped downward in the new report card. Parkview in Pueblo and St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction both dropped from an A to a C.
St. Mary’s received a zero grade on the size of its nursing staff. “Their rate of central-line associated blood-stream infections and rate of death from serious treatable complications after surgery also contributed to their grade change,” said Kristi Skowronski, a spokeswoman for the Leapfrog Group.
Parkview was downgraded for somewhat higher rates of infections, accidental cuts and pressure ulcers, among other issues.
Details of each hospital’s grade can be found at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.
Another 11 hospitals in Colorado received a grade of “B,” and 15 received a “C” grade. The last included Exempla Lutheran in Wheat Ridge, which boosted its grade from a “pending” or failing grade last June.
Colorado had none of the 147 hospitals nationwide receiving failing grades in this round of rankings.
The Colorado Hospital Association had objected to the Leapfrog study six months ago, but says changes have been made that no longer penalize certain hospitals for failing to report certain safety data. CHA also suggested patients seek personal references for quality hospitals, and check other websites with quality data, including Medicare’s Hospital Comparison and CHA’s own Colorado Hospital Report Card.
You can send your stories of hospital safety problems to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on www.ColoradoPublicNews.org
Colorado hospital safety scores November 2012
Denver Health Medical Center
Mercy Regional Medical Center of Durango
Centura – St. Anthony, Lakewood
University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora
Exempla St. Joseph Hospital, Denver
McKee Medical Center, Loveland
Rose Medical Center, Denver
Centura – Porter Adventist Hospital, Denver
Delta County Memorial Hospital, Delta
Medical Center of Aurora
Sky Ridge Medical Center, Lone Tree
Centura – Littleton Adventist Hospital
Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center, Lafayette
North Colorado Medical Center, Greeley
Platte Valley Medical Center, Brighton
Poudre Valley Hospital, Fort Collins
Boulder Community Hospital, Boulder
Centura – Penrose St. Francis Health Center, Colorado Springs
Swedish Medical Center, Englewood
North Suburban Medical Center, Thornton
Sterling Regional MedCenter, Sterling
Centura – Parker Adventist Hospital, Parker
Medical Center of the Rockies, Loveland
Centura – St. Francis Medical Center, Colorado Springs
Longmont United Hospital, Longmont
Montrose Memorial Hospital, Montrose
San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center, Alamosa
Exempla Lutheran Medical Center, Wheat Ridge
Centura – St. Mary Corwin Medical Center, Pueblo
Presbyterian – St. Luke’s Medical Center, Denver
Centura – St. Thomas More Hospital, Canon City
Parkview Medical Center, Pueblo
Memorial Health System, Colorado Springs
St. Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center, Grand Junction
Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center, La Junta
Community Hospital, Grand Junction
Valley View Hospital, Glenwood Springs
Centura – Avista Adventist Hospital, Louisville
Centura – St. Anthony North Hospital, Westminster