Two Midlands hospitals stand out in the safety grades released by a medical watchdog group Thursday.
Lexington Medical Center continues to be ranked as one of the safest hospitals in South Carolina, according to the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade.
But for the first time in years, Prisma Health Baptist Parkridge was rated among the safest hospitals as well. The Columbia hospital drastically improved the grade determined by the Leapfrog Group, which issues biannual rankings.
Since 2012, the Leapfrog Group has published Hospital Safety Scores twice a year — once in the spring and once during the fall — to create transparency in the U.S. health system. The rating is focused on “errors, accidents, injuries and infections.”
Based on this criteria, Lexington Medical Center and Prisma Health Baptist Parkridge were the only Midlands hospitals awarded an A.
▪ Lexington Medical Center, repeated its score from the spring ranking of A
▪ Prisma Health Baptist Parkridge improved its grade from C in the spring to A
Other Columbia-Lexington-area hospitals received one B and two Cs for the fall. Those include:
▪ Providence Health, repeated its score from the spring ranking of B
▪ Prisma Health Baptist in Columbia, repeated its score from the spring ranking of C
▪ Prisma Health Richland repeated its score from the spring ranking of C
No other hospitals in the Midlands received an A, while one that had a B grade in the spring dropped.
▪ Newberry County Memorial Hospital repeated its score from the spring ranking of B
▪ Kershaw Health Medical Center repeated its score from the spring ranking of C
▪ Prisma Health Tuomey dropped one letter grade, from B in the spring to C
▪ Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties repeated its score from the spring ranking of D
Overall in South Carolina, of the 46 hospitals that were ranked, 17 received a letter A, down one from the spring. Two received a D, Medical University of South Carolina Health — Marion Medical Center and the Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties. As was the case in the spring, there were no SC hospitals with an F in the fall grades.
The Pee Dee region received the best safety grades in the fall report. Although there are significantly fewer hospitals there, both McLeod Regional Medical Center of the Pee Dee and the MUSC Health — Florence Medical Center received A grades in the report.
Nationally, South Carolina ranked 18th among all states, with nearly 37 percent of its hospitals scoring an A rating. That was a decline from the spring when just 40 percent received the top score, leaving the Palmetto State ranked 12th. Maine (58.82 percent) was the top-rated state, while there was a three-way tie for lowest grade among Alaska, North Dakota, and Wyoming, as none had a hospital with an A grade.
Leapfrog graded more than 2,600 hospitals nationwide, and 33 percent earned an A, 25 percent earned a B, 34 percent a C, 8 percent a D and less than 1 percent scored an F, according to its website.
The grades are based on safety data and represent “a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors,” according to Leapfrog, which reported an estimated 160,000 people die annually because of “avoidable medical errors.” That is an improvement over the 2016 figure, when the study “estimated 205,000 avoidable deaths.”
“Leapfrog advises the public never to reject emergency treatment based on a safety score, but to consult with a doctor about the best hospital for planned, elective procedures,” the News & Observer reported.
But Leapfrog’s study shows that patients at ‘D’ and ‘F’ hospitals face about a 92 percent greater risk of dying than those at hospitals graded A.
If all the other hospitals improved their patient safety to the equivalent of ‘A’ hospitals, “50,215 lives could be saved every year,” the study reports.
“In stark contrast to 20 years ago, we’re now able to pinpoint where the problems are, and that allows us to grade hospitals,” Leapfrog Group president and CEO Leah Binder said in a news release. “It also allows us to better track progress. Encouragingly, we are seeing fewer deaths from the preventable errors we monitor in our grading process.”
SC HOSPITAL SAFETY GRADES
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