Health

Florida Hospital campuses get 'A' from group that grades patient safety

Florida Hospital campuses in Orlando once again received straight A’s from a national group that regularly evaluates and grades hospitals for patient safety.

“This is the only national rating of how well hospitals protect patients from preventable harm and death, such as medical errors, infections, and injuries,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, in a news release. “Receiving an ‘A’ Safety Grade means a hospital is among the best in the country for preventing these terrible problems and putting their patients first, 24 hours a day.”

Among Orlando Health campuses, only Dr. P. Phillips hospital maintained its A grade since last fall, according to the spring 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades report, released on Monday. Orlando Health’s South Seminole Hospital, Orlando Regional Medical Center and South Lake Hospital slid a letter grade from A to B.

HCA’s Central Florida Regional Hospital maintained its B grade, while Osceola Regional Medical Center improved a grade from C to B.

Leesburg Regional Medical Center has maintained its streak of grade C since spring 2016.

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization devoted to improving quality and safety in health care, has been producing the Hospital Safety Grades report every six months since 2012. The group grades 2,500 hospitals based on 27 patient safety measures to come up with letter grades that range from A through F. Those measures include ICU physician staffing, hand hygiene, microbial infections such as MRSA, falls and deaths among seriously ill patients.

This year, the organization graded 173 hospitals in the Sunshine state. About 30 percent of them received an A, while two — Larkin Community Hospital’s Palm Springs Campus and Sebastian River Medical Center received an F. The majority of the remaining hospitals earned a B or a C.

This scores put Florida in the 23rd place compared with other states. Florida is also one of 10 states to have hospitals that received an F.

Meanwhile, Hawaii ranked first nationwide, while Alaska, Delaware and North Dakota tied at the bottom in the 49th place with no A hospitals.

Although the highest percentage of hospitals, in Florida and nationwide, ended up getting a C grade, Leapfrog officials said that there are signs that hospitals are making progress toward reducing preventable errors, infections and deaths: nationwide, five hospitals improved from an F to an A; 46 hospitals achieved an A for the first time; and 89 hospitals that once had a D or F, received an A this year.

One in 25 people who are admitted to a U.S. hospital are at risk of getting a new infection. Preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 400,000 patients each year, according to the organization.

“The national numbers on death and harm in hospitals have alarmed us for decades. What we see in the new round of Safety Grades are signs of many hospitals making significant improvements in their patient safety record,” said Binder, in a news release.

nmiller@orlandosentinel.com, 407-420-5158, @naseemmiller

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