New safety report shows average grades for local hospitals


ROCKFORD (WREX) — Grades were given out today for Rockford’s three area hospitals and only one received higher than a ‘C’.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades are released twice a year and look at 28 national performance measures of patient safety.  According to the report, those measures are then combined into a single score, or in this case letter grade, that represents the hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe.

OSF St. Anthony received the area’s highest score with a ‘B’ grade. Of the 28 categories the hospitals were graded on, OSF was shown to be ‘Below Average’ in 12 categories, ‘Above Average” in 13 categories and ‘Average’ in the other 3.

SwedishAmerican received a ‘C’ grade. Swedes had 11 ‘Below Average’ grades, 10 ‘Above Average’ grades and 2 ‘Average” grades. Swedes declined to report data in 5 categories.

Mercyhealth also received a ‘C’ grade in the report, including 10 ‘Below Average’, 12 ‘Above Average’ and 1 ‘Average” grade. Mercyhealth also declined to report data in 5 categories.

Here is a breakdown of how each hospital performed in the 28 graded categories.

OSF St. Anthony (B)

Below Average (12)

  • C. diff infection
  • Infection in the blood
  • Infection in the urinary tract
  • Surgical site infection after colon surgery
  • Surgical wound splits open
  • Death from serious treatable complications
  • Dangerous blood clot
  • Accidental cuts and tears
  • Communication about medicines
  • Staff work together to prevent errors
  • Communication with doctors
  • Responsiveness of hospital staff

Average (3)

  • Communication about discharge
  • Patient falls
  • Communication with nurses

Above Average (13)

  • MRSA infection
  • Dangerous object left in patient’s body
  • Collapsed lung
  • Serious breathing problem
  • Doctors order medications through computer
  • Safe medications administration
  • Handwashing
  • Dangerous bed sores
  • Air or gas bubble in the blood
  • Track and reduce risks to patients
  • Effective leadership to prevent errors
  • Enough qualified nurses
  • Specially trained doctors care for ICE patients

SwedishAmerican (C)

Below Average (11)

  • C. diff infection
  • Surgical site infection after colon surgery
  • Collapsed lung
  • Serious breathing problem
  • Dangerous blood clot
  • Accidental cuts and tears
  • Doctors order medications through a computer
  • Safe medication administration
  • Communication about discharge
  • Specially trained doctors care for ICE patients
  • Communication with doctors

Average (2)

  • Communication about medicines
  • Dangerous bed sores

Above Average (10)

  • MRSA infection
  • Infection in the blood
  • Infection in the urinary tract
  • Dangerous object left in patient’s body
  • Surgical wound splits open
  • Death from serious treatable complications
  • Patient falls
  • Air or gas bubble in the blood
  • Communication with nurses
  • Responsiveness of hospital staff

Declined to Report (5)

  • Handwashing
  • Staff work together to prevent errors
  • Track and reduce risks to patients
  • Effective leadership to prevent errors
  • Enough qualified nurses

Mercyhealth (C)

Below Average (10)

  • C. diff infection
  • Surgical site infection after colon surgery
  • Serious breathing problem
  • Accidental cuts and tears
  • Doctors order medications through a computer
  • Safe medication administration
  • Communication about medicines
  • Communication about discharge
  • Specially trained doctors care for ICE patients
  • Responsiveness of hospital staff

Average (1)

  • Patient falls

Above Average (12)

  • MRSA infection
  • Infection in the blood
  • Infection in the urinary tract
  • Dangerous object left in patient’s body
  • Surgical wound splits open
  • Death from serious treatable complications
  • Collapsed lung
  • Dangerous blood clot
  • Dangerous bed sores
  • Air or gas bubble in the blood
  • Communication with doctors
  • Communication with nurses

Declined to Report (5)

  • Handwashing
  • Staff work together to prevent errors
  • Track and reduce risks to patients
  • Effective leadership to prevent errors
  • Enough qualified nurses

13 WREX reached out to all 3 Rockford hospitals for a statement on the report. Below is a look a their responses:

“Patient safety is always at the forefront of everything we do at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center,” said Paula Carynski, president of OSF Saint Anthony. “Our physicians, nurses and staff are committed to providing the safest care to those we serve. While we proudly accept this grade, our Mission Partners at OSF also understand and embrace our need for continuous improvement. It is always one of our highest priorities.”

“Quality is always a top priority here at SwedishAmerican and that requires continual vigilance. During this quarter, we saw high scores again in several key areas. Each day we strive to maintain a strong culture of safety and deliver the best care to every patient.”

“Mercyhealth and other health care providers are routinely asked to participate in initiatives for publicly reporting data related to quality and patient safety. Mercyhealth does not submit data to Leapfrog for this report. Mercyhealth does participate in other quality programs that provide us the proper guidance and oversight our patients deserve. Mercyhealth is confident those programs and other ongoing patient safety initiatives help achieve its status as a center of excellence.” – Barb Bortner, VP of Marketing and Public Relations

FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport also received a ‘C’ grade, the hospital’s lowest grade in many years. FHN received a ‘B’ grade in the Spring 2018 report and had an ‘A’ grade as recent as two years ago.  We did receive a response from FHN, saying:

“As part of our commitment to the health and safety of our patients and communities, FHN works with Leapfrog to promote transparency about the safety and quality of healthcare available in the U.S. We will be voluntarily participating in Leapfrog’s annual survey for 2019 in supplying data that is used in calculating the Safety Grade. Participating and reviewing opportunities in the Leapfrog survey is just one way FHN works to ensure the safety of our patients. Leapfrog uses only Medicare data in its surveys, so only a portion of our patients are represented in this report. In addition, if there isn’t enough data in a certain category (not enough procedures done, or not recent enough, for example), it isn’t included, which means the score isn’t always an accurate representation of the care available now. FHN works with The Joint Commission, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Illinois Hospital Association and other organizations to assess and ensure our patients’ safety.  We are a Patient Safety Organization and active members of the Hospital Improvement and Innovation Network. Though FHN supports all public reporting and transparency, we urge the consumers of these reports to take a closer look at the methodology and take the time to understand exactly what these scores represent and that it is not current data.”

Hospital Grades
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