Wednesday, November 1, 2017

3 Louisville hospitals and Lourdes Hospital in Paducah get lowest safety grades; St. Joseph Lexington and some others move up

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Heath News

A nonprofit group that rates hospitals has released its latest patient-safety grades, giving most Kentucky hospitals a B or C. Kentucky's scores have remained about the same in the past few reports, but the overall score dropped two spots this year, making Kentucky 34th in the nation.

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., evaluated 2,632 hospitals nationwide, including 50 in Kentucky. Most of Kentucky's 129 hospitals were not rated because critical-access hospitals in rural areas don't have to report their quality measures.

The Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Grade website is
easy to use and offers information on 50 Ky. hospitals. 
The grades are calculated using 27 performance measures of patient safety that indicate how well hospitals protect patients from preventable medical errors, infections and injuries. The study uses data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the annual Leapfrog Hospital Survey and the American Hospital Association's annual survey.

Leapfrog gave an A to 13 Kentucky hospitals, or 26 percent of those graded, somewhat lower than the national average of 31.6 percent. It gave Bs to 14, Cs to 19 and Ds to four -- one more than in the spring report. None got a failing grade.

Three Louisville hospitals are consistent low scorers: Jewish Hospital, Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital and the University of Louisville Hospital, which all got Ds again.

Jewish and Sts. Mary & Elizabeth are owned by KentuckyOne Health. The university hospital separated from KentuckyOne July 1 and is now operated by U of L. KentuckyOne Health is working to sell both Jewish and Sts. Mary & Elizabeth.

The health system is working to deliver quality, safe care for patients, David McArthur, a KentuckyOne spokesman David McArthur told the Courier Journal in an email.

"Across our facilities in Louisville, and throughout Kentucky, we have several quality, safety and patient satisfaction initiatives in place and underway to continue to improve the quality of care and safety delivered to all our patients," McArthur said.

In an opinion piece for the Courier Journal, Ken Marshall, the interim president and CEO of University Medical Center, which operates the U of L hospital, said its previous quality scores haven't been satisfactory, and wrote, "Now we own our results, and we are changing."

Marshall said the scores Leapfrog grades can be a reflection of data that is over a year old. He noted efforts that have been implemented since July to improve care, including hiring over 100 registered nurses in the first 60 days, decreasing the mortality index, reducing the average length of stay and improving their education and training around infectious diseases.

The other hospital that got a D was Lourdes Hospital in Paducah. This is the only D Lourdes has ever received on the Leapfrog report, having received C's since it was first scored in spring 2014.

Saint Joseph Hospital in Lexington got its first B, having mostly received Cs and a few Ds in the past. This hospital is also owned by KentuckyOne.

Pikeville Medical Center in Eastern Kentucky and St. Elizabeth Healthcare Edgewood in Northern Kentucky are the only two Kentucky hospitals that have maintained straight A's since the spring of 2014, the first year either hospital was graded.

Jackson Purchase Medical Center in Mayfield got its first A ever, having gradually worked itself up to an A from its two initial D grades received in the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015.

Georgetown Community Hospital, which has received an A on the last two report cards, fell to a C.

The two University of Kentucky hospitals once again got a B.

The Leapfrog Group says its bi-annual analysis was developed under the guidance of the nation's leading patient-safety experts and is peer-reviewed. Click here to see all of Kentucky hospital's Leapfrog hospital safety grades. Click here for Leapfrog recommendations on how to use the grades.

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