Parrish Medical Center Earns Highest Leapfrog Safety Rating For Fifth Consecutive Year
By Daylina Miller, Staff Writer WUSF, Tampa // May 1, 2016
VIERA, PALM BAY HOSPITALS ALSO EARN A RATING
EDITOR’S NOTE: Since 2012, the Leapfrog Group, a non-profit employer-sponsored organization that promotes improvements in the safety of health care by giving consumers data to make more informed hospital choices, has assigned a “Hospital Safety Score” to over 2,500 hospitals across the nation twice annually.
The safety score, comprised of a letter grade of A, B, C, D or F, is based primarily on publicly available hospital quality and safety data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s Hospital Compare website, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey and Health Information Technology Supplement and the Leapfrog Hospital Survey.
Taken together, those performance measures produce a single score representing a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors. The Hospital Safety Score includes 28 measures, all currently in use by national measurement and reporting programs.
Parrish Medical Center has been very consistent in maintaining an A safety rating for the fifth consecutive year since the inception of Leapfrog’s safety scorecard.
An A rating was also achieved this spring by Health First’s Viera and Palm Bay Hospitals.
Although Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score has been touted as the gold standard measure of patient safety by some of the media, such as MSNBC, The New York Times, and AARP The Magazine, letter grades do not begin to address the complexity of the data and certainly should not be used as a soul source of decision making and ultimate hospital choice related to which hospitals may be the least, and which ones the most, likely to cause avoidable patient harm.
It should also be noted that the Leapfrog Group has clearly used their grading system in a proprietary manner. A licensing fee between $7,000 and $30,000, depending on hospital size, is required from the hospital for promotion of the safety grade beyond a press release and internal communications.
– Dr. Jim Palermo, Editor-in-Chief
The latest Hospital Safety Scores released by the not-for-profit watchdog Leapfrog Group show less than 25 percent of general, acute-care hospitals in Florida earned an A.
Last year, nearly half earned As.
Over the past four years, the Leapfrog Group has issued grades, which are determined largely by Medicare data. The group calculates the grades twice a year on using data on errors, injuries, accidents and infections, and posts the results in a searchable database.
Out of the 168 Florida hospitals they graded, 41 got an A, down from 77 out of 165 hospitals last year.
Several hospitals got Cs and Ds, but once again, no Florida hospitals failed.
Erica Mobley, direct of communications at Leapfrog Group, said two new measures on MRSA and C. Diff infection rates and hospital communication could have affected the scores.
“It also could be that in calculating the scores, we compare hospitals to each other,” Mobley said. “So perhaps it’s not necessarily that all of these hospitals got worse, but that they didn’t get better with the same speed and acceleration with what other hospitals improved.”
CLICK HERE to read the complete FloridaHealthNews.com report, which includes a list of D-rated Florida hospitals and the 8 Florida hospitals that have achieved an A rating consistently over the 5-years of Leapfrog’s Safety Scorecard.
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