Piedmont Medical Center earns ‘A’ rating from Leapfrog

Piedmont Medical Center has received its fourth straight “A” rating from the Leapfrog Group.
Piedmont Medical Center has received its fourth straight “A” rating from the Leapfrog Group.

Piedmont Medical Center has been ranked among the nation’s top hospitals by both a national health care rating service and the Rock Hill hospital’s parent company.

For the fourth consecutive time, Piedmont has earned an “A” rating from Leapfrog, which rates hospitals twice a year for safety, quality and efficiency. Leapfrog surveys more than 2,500 hospital nationwide for based on their ability to prevent errors, accidents, injuries and infections. The Hospital Safety Score is calculated by patient safety experts. Hospital are graded on a A-to-F scale.

Piedmont was also named a Circle of Excellence Award winner by Tenet Healthcare, the first time the hospital received the honor since 2007.

Bill Masterton, PMC’s chief executive officer, said the awards not only recognize Piedmont’s commitment to its patients, but to its physicians as well. “Nothing happens around here without our physicians,” Masterton said.

Piedmont was one of 11 South Carolina hospitals to earn an “A” grade from Leapfrog. In the Charlotte regional market, Novant Health’s hospital in Matthews, N.C., earned an “A,” as did Carolinas HealthCare System’s University hospital. Carolinas HealthCare’s Pineville hospital and the main hospital in Charlotte earned “B” ratings.

Piedmont scored the most possible points for having the right staffing present to prevent safety-related problems and following standard safety procedures. The hospital scored above average for giving the correct antibiotics before surgery, dealing with infections and a collapsed lung.

The Tenet Circle of Excellence award is given to hospitals for patient care, as well as operational and financial performance. Tenet evaluates its hospitals for patient, physician and employ satisfaction, clinical quality and performance.

Masterton said the hospital’s physician satisfaction scores have steadily increased. Masterton, who took over as Piedmont’s CEO in 2012, said the scores reflect a change in corporate culture at the hospital.

Masterton said that after he was appointed CEO, he visited with all physicians’ practices associated with Piedmont to hear their concerns. Communication of patient information between the hospitals and the practices was one of the physicians’ primary concerns. Masteron said he has met annually with the practices to discuss additional concerns.

The meetings with physicians also resulted in the hospital taking a higher profile in community events, Masterton said.

As CEO of Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville, Masterton helped that hospital earn an “A” rating in the fall of 2012 and a Tenet Circle of Excellence award in 2012.

Masterton said attaining similar honors at Piedmont was harder because it’s a bigger, more complex facility. Coastal Carolina Hospital is a 41-bed hospital while Piedmont has 288 beds.

Masterton said he was proud of Piedmont’s two awards because they are based on “objective data” that are measured against national standards.

The awards follow an April announcement by Hospital Compare that gave Piedmont two out of five stars.

The Hospital Compare ratings are from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Chester Regional Medical Center and Springs Memorial Hospital in Lancaster each received three stars, while Carolinas Medical Center-Main in Charlotte and Carolinas Medical Center in Pineville, N.C., each received four stars.

Chester and Springs Memorial did not participate in the Leapfrog surveys.

The Hospital Compare stars are based on 11 survey questions that ask patients to rate their hospital experience. The ratings period for the survey released in April was from July 2013 to June 2014.

Masterton said Piedmont is taking steps to address the Hospital Compare ratings. One of the major changes is renovating the patient rooms, a multi-million dollar project that will be spread over several years.

PMC’s patient satisfaction data shows the hospital on track to earn a three- or four-star rating when Hospital Compare releases its report based on 2014 and 2015 data, Masterton said.

Don Worthington •  803-329-4066