Some Dayton-area hospital safety grades slip

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Half of the hospitals in the Dayton metro area saw their safety ratings slip in the latest round of scoring by Leapfrog, a nonprofit health care watchdog.

The Leapfrog ratings come out in the fall and spring each year and are based on 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data. Hospitals receive a letter grade between A and F for overall performance and also are graded on for individual safety and performance measures.

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Hospital officials emphasized that that Leapfrog letter grades are simplified and just one way for a consumer evaluate a hospital and should be considered in context.

Sarah Hackenbracht, interim president and CEO at the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, said the grades are not fully representative of the care provided at each institution.

Hospital safety ratings    
National watchdog Leapfrog just issued its latest safey ratings for U.S. hospitals.     
HospitalFall 2018Spring 2018Fall 2017Spring 2017
Greene Memorial HospitalANot ScoredBA
Upper Valley Medical CenterBAAA
Sycamore Medical CenterBBBA
Southview HospitalCBBA
Soin Medical CenterCCCB
Miami Valley HospitalCCCC
Kettering Medical CenterCABB
Grandview Medical CenterCBBA
Source: Leapfrog   

Hospitals internally monitor quality of care and provide quality measurements to U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, to insurance companies, to the Joint Commission and others. Hackenbracht said hospitals are constantly evaluating and reviewing the best ways to keep patients safe.

Greene Memorial Hospital in Xenia was the only hospital to get an overall A this round out of the hospitals in Montgomery, Greene and Miami counties.

Upper Valley Medical Center and Sycamore Medical Center received Bs and the other hospitals received Cs. None of the hospitals improved grades between the spring and fall report cards.

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Brenda Kuhn, chief quality officer at Kettering Health Network, said the data used in the new round of Leapfrog grades is from 2015, 2016 and 2017 and doesn’t show current metrics.

“While its disappointing, it’s not a surprise because the data is so old. So as we look at real-time data, we’re adjusting our focus as a network on our priorities to improve safety for our patients and their families,” Kuhn said.

While information from past years helps guide the hospital network, she said their day-to-day focus is on whether their current performance is where it needs to be. Kuhn said when trying to shop for the right care, a patient’s primary care provider can be a good resource for recommending the right specialists and procedures.

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Premier Health, which has three area hospitals, said in a statement that quality is at the core of its mission.

“Results can vary from one survey to the next and from one year to the next, and we welcome that third-party accountability,” Premier stated. “What doesn’t change is our focus on ensuring that we deliver the best possible care and experience for our patients.”

In Ohio, 42.7 percent of hospitals had an A rating, essentially unchanged from the 42.5 percent during the spring grading period.

Ohio is ranked 8th among states with the most A rated hospitals. New Jersey had the most A rated hospitals — 56.7 percent — while there were no A rated hospitals in Washington D.C., Delaware and North Dakota.

Leapfrog said the search tool can be used for research if your doctor referred you or a family member to a hospital for surgery, if you’re preparing to have a baby or if someone in your family has a chronic illness that could require immediate or consistent hospital care.

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While every person will have different ideas about what is most important to them, Leapfrog suggests checking out whether your hospital scores well on handwashing, infection in the blood and patient falls.

New this year to the grading system is a measure for prevention and identification of medication errors, which Leapfrog said was added because medication errors are the most common hospital error.

Leapfrog does not grade VA hospitals, specialty hospitals or children’s hospitals, so several local hospitals were not included in the rankings.

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