09capefearvalleymedCape Fear Valley Medical Center has been designated one of America’s safest hospitals by a national organization that monitors institutional patient safety. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine reported that nearly 98,000 Americans were dying annually because of medical errors. In response, a group of large employers formed The Leapfrog Group. Their goal was to collect data that ensures they are providing the best health benefits for their employees and to drive giant leaps forward in hospital safety. Thus, the name The Leapfrog Group was chosen.

The group developed the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, which assigns recognizable letter grades assessing the safety of general hospitals across the country: A, B, C, D and F.

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center was awarded an “A” rating this spring, acknowledging its efforts to protect patients from harm. The hospital survey system used 28 performance measures of patient safety. Details on those measures are available at hospitalsafetygrade.org. Across the country, 2,600 hospitals participated. The Leapfrog Group found that if hospitals with a grade lower than A are able to achieve the safety performance of A hospitals, an estimated 50,000 patient lives could be saved.

The 2017 American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey of patient admissions found that the number of avoidable deaths ranged from 3.24 lives per 1,000 admissions in A hospitals to 6.21 lives per 1,000 admissions in D and F hospitals. Overall results reflect average hospital performance in each grade category.

The information about hospital performance collected through the Leapfrog Hospital Survey is unique. “When they look into it, (you) realize how many things can go wrong in a hospital, and that makes a big difference,” said Leapfrog President and CEO Leah Binder. “That’s why I think it’s … important for us to highlight this in a way that’s easily accessible to laypeople.”

In addition to Leapfrog Group’s findings, Healthgrades has conferred three specialty clinical quality awards on Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, which include evaluation of patient safety.

The local hospital was ranked among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for the 2019 Cardiac Care Award. It also earned America’s 100 Best Hospitals’ Coronary Intervention Award for superior clinical outcomes in heart bypass surgery, coronary interventional procedures, heart attack treatment, heart failure treatment and heart valve surgery; and the 2018 superior clinical outcomes in coronary intervention procedures, which involve angioplasty with stent. Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance using objective quality measures, including patient safety, clinical outcomes and patient experience.

Cape Fear Valley Health System’s most recent honors included Get with the Guidelines — AFIB Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association — for helping patients suffering from atrial fibrillation. Methods to aggressively reduce risks to prevent stroke and stabilize heart function were established. The American Heart Association estimates 2.7 million adults have AFIB, which is associated with a significant increased risk of stroke.

Cape Fear Valley is a private, not-for-profit health system governed by a 22-member board of trustees. The board includes the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners as well as physicians, registered nurses and various members of the community.

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