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Mon Health Medical Center scores an ‘A’ for patient safety in new Leapfrog rating

MORGANTOWN — Mon Health Medical Center once again earned an “A” grade for patient safety from The Leapfrog Group, a safety-based nonprofit formed by major employers and healthcare groups, the hospital announced in a press release.

Mon Health was one of 878 hospitals nationwide, and the only one in West Virginia to receive an “A.”

For comparison, WVU Hospitals Ruby Memorial scored a “C” and CAMC in Charleston scored a “D.” Mon Health’s Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital and WVU Medicine’s United Hospital Center in Bridgeport both scored “C’s.”

“Providing the safest, highest quality care is at the heart of all we do at Mon Health Medical Center,” said Mark Gilliam, chief administrative officer. “Our team of physicians and staff are warm, embracing. They are the neighbors you grew up with and they provide the highest level of caring to our patients and their families. This Leapfrog recognition demonstrates the commitment of our physicians, nurses and staff to create the best possible experience and outcomes for every patient.”

Hospitals self-report their data and Leapfrog grades them on 28 measures in five areas: infections; problems with surgery; practices to prevent errors; safety problems; and doctors, nurses and hospital staff.

Mon Health scored above average in 17 measures, below average on three and did not report on seven measures. It earned perfect scores for dangerous objects left in patient’s body and MRSA infection, among others. It scored near the top for communication with doctors and nurses and for responsiveness of hospital staff.

It scored just below average for patient falls and injuries and for death from treatable serious infections, and below average for C.diff bacterial infections.

Leapfrog issues grades twice a year, in spring and fall. Mon Health scored “A’s” both times in 2017 and 2018, dipped to a “B” last spring and bounced back up to “A” this fall.

Mon Health didn’t respond to a request for comment on the three below-average scores or the brief drop to “B” in time for this report.

Asked about the dip to a “B,” Mon Health said, “It’s not uncommon for these scores to rise and fall with hospitals across the country. An anomaly in one area can impact the entire result.”

And about the three below average scores, it said, “The same logic applies to this. A single incident can vary the results. The comprehensive composite score of ‘A’ is the true representation of the overall quality of the hospital. We are extremely proud to be the only hospital in West Virginia to receive this honor for proven efforts in protecting patients from harm and meeting rigorous safety standards. From a quality and service perspective, we do not take any of our scores lightly. We are continually focused on providing the highest quality of care to our patients, every time.”

Leapfrog talks about its grading system on its website.

“When we talk about patient safety, we’re really talking about how hospitals and other health care organizations protect their patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. … As many as 440,000 people die every year from preventable errors in hospitals. It’s up to everyone to make sure that patient safety is the number one priority at every hospital across the United States.

It continues, “The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade provides data and research to help you make informed decisions about a critical aspect of your hospital stay – safety. A hospital may have the best surgeons and greatest technology in the world, but unless it is preventing infections and eliminating errors, it is not delivering on a very basic premise: ensuring the safety of you and your loved ones. “

Mon Health noted in its release that in the past year, U.S. News and World Report national health care rankings named Mon Health Medical Center among the highest in patient experience in West Virginia for 2019-20 quality ratings and the third-best hospital in the state.

President and CEO David Goldberg commented, “We are sharply focused on doing the right thing, every time, for those we serve and are quite proud of what we’ve been able to achieve over the past year. Nothing makes us prouder than to have been recognized by independent, third-party evaluators for providing the best patient care and experience in the region. That is always our goal.”

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