Tuesday, April 24, 2018

More large to medium Kentucky hospitals rated low for patient safety

By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

A nonprofit group that rates hospitals has released its latest patient-safety grades, once again giving most Kentucky hospitals a B or C. Kentucky's overall ranking of 34th remained the same as the fall of 2017 report.

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., evaluated about 2,500 hospitals nationwide, including 46 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 46 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 10 Kentucky hospitals, or nearly 22 percent of those graded, lower than the national average of 30 percent. It gave Bs to 17, Cs to 13 and Ds to six -- two more than the fall report. None got a failing grade.

Taylor Regional Hospital in Campbellsville and Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg got their first Ds on the biannual ranking. Taylor had received Cs as far back as the spring of 2015 and Highlands had gotten Cs as far back as the fall of 2015; Lourdes Hospital in Paducah got its second D in a row.

The three Louisville hospitals that are consistent low scorers did so again, with Jewish Hospital, Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital and the University of Louisville Hospital getting 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.

U of L Interim President Greg Postel told Chris Otts of WDRB that the New York private equity firm BlueMountai Capital Management will decide "within a month or less" whether to purchase Jewish Hospital (and the Frazier Rehabilitation Institute).

Pikeville Medical Center in Eastern Kentucky dropped to a C after getting As since the spring of 2015.

Baptist Health Lexington got its A grade back, having last received an A in the fall of 2015 and getting mostly Bs with one C in-between.

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

Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset got a B after receiving mostly Cs since the spring of 2015, and one D in the spring of 2016.

Norton Brownsboro Hospital got a B for the first time since the spring of 2015, having received only Cs since that time. Owensboro Health also got a B after getting straight Cs since the spring of 2015.

St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington kept its B for the second Leapfrog grading period in a row, after getting Cs and Ds since the spring of 2015.

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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