07 Leapfrog safety grade logo color jpegLeapfrog Hospital Safety Grades were created a decade ago by The Leapfrog Group, a national leader and advocate in hospital transparency. The Leapfrog Group is an independent, national nonprofit organization founded by the nation’s leading employers and private health care experts. The Leapfrog Safety Grade scored 79 hospitals in North Carolina as well as more than 2,600 acute care hospitals across the United States in its bi-annual survey of health providers.

The study ranked hospitals in various categories, including prevention measures, hospital personnel and issues with safety and surgery. The scores are based on performance measures for errors, accidents, injuries and infections. Leapfrog surveys are completed twice each year — once in the spring and again in the fall.

 Overall, 34% of North Carolina hospitals received an A, which ranked 19th nationwide. Five medical centers in the region were among the best in the country, according to the survey. They include Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill and Duke University Hospital in Durham. Two hospitals earned C grades: WakeMed Cary Hospital and the WakeMed Raleigh Campus. No North Carolina hospital received an F.

WakeMed hospitals ranked below average for patients getting various infections, “dangerous” items left in patients’ bodies during surgeries and other measures, according to Leapfrog.
“We will … strive to reach even higher for the benefit of the patients and the families we serve,” a WakeMed email to the McClatchy newsgroup said. “Unfortunately, due to a lag in the data, our Leapfrog grades do not incorporate these improvements and do not accurately represent the quality of care we deliver,” WakeMed’s email concluded.

The grades were announced this month in The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety fall assessment. The ratings system is considered the gold standard for patient safety. It is the first and only hospital rating system to be peer-reviewed by the Journal of Patient Safety. The study reviews 28 publicly available safety data measurements to produce an A, B, C, D or F score for each facility. The grades represent a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm.

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center has earned an A grade for patient safety over four straight reporting periods. The local health system serves a region of more than 800,000 people in several counties of southeastern North Carolina. The nonprofit system is the state’s eighth-largest health system made up of 7,000 team members, 850 physicians, eight hospitals, and more than 60 primary care and specialty clinics.

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center on Owen Drive is the flagship of the system offering residencies in emergency medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry and general surgery, as well as a transitional year internship in affiliation with the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine at Campbell University. For more information, visit
www.CapeFearValley.com.

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