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St. Charles reacts to Bend's 'C' safety grade, Redmond's 'A'

Nursing leader says Bend issues being addressed

St Charles gets safety grades

BEND, Ore. - (Update: St. Charles chief nurse executive responds to grades)

For the fourth year in a row, St. Charles Bend Medical Center has received a 'C' grade from the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit that works to improve hospital safety for patients. But its sister hospital to the north, in Redmond, has seen its grade improve to "A."

St. Charles Chief Nurse Executive Pam Steinke told NewsChannel 21 the Bend hospital is not too concerned with the grade and that certain issues identified are already being worked on. 

"I would say there's nothing specific that would change because of the Leapfrog survey," she said Monday. "The things that are important to be worked on are already being worked on. The gaps that are in the information, most of those things are just gaps in what we provided to them or didn't provide to them and we're actively working on those sections anyway."

"It's more important for us to see what we need to improve on internally and then, secondly, look at the external benchmarks to see how that compares," she added.

Areas in which St. Charles Bend scored poorly included 'Infection in the urinary tract during an ICU stay,' scoring a 2.13, which matches the worst hospital's score.

The hospital also received a low score for 'death from serious treatable complications.' 

But St. Charles Bend scored high in taking care of or preventing MRSA infections.

St. Charles Redmond fared much better than Bend. The hospital boosted its grade from a 'D' in 2014 to an 'A' for the fall of 2017.

Steinke credited a number of things for this improvement.

"Specifically, this last year, Redmond has not had one urinary catheter-associated infection due to their practices and (being) really vigilant on how they care for urinary catheters. They haven't had one infection," Steinke said.

"Their patient satisfaction scores around communication with doctors and nurses and hospital staff have steadily improved," she aded.

St. Charles Prineville and Madras are not listed in the survey because they are considered critical access, which means they have fewer than 25 inpatient beds. 

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Here's the news release and earlier information:

The Leapfrog Group has released its fall Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, assigning A, B, C, D and F letter grades to general acute-care hospitals in the U.S. -- and while the news was good for Oregon overall, St. Charles Bend remained at a 'C' grade it's received for several years.

The Leapfrog Group describes itself as "an independent nonprofit organization committed to driving quality, safety, and transparency in the U.S. health system."

The St. Charles Bend grade of C has not changed since the first twice-a-year grade was given to the hospital, in the spring of 2014.

The report gives failing (red zone, below average) scores to the hospital in areas ranging from infections in the blood or urinary tract during an ICU stay to death from serious, treatable complications and patient falls.

The scores are in the "green" (above-average) zone for MRSA and C. diff infections and levels of serious breathing problems or blood clots arising from surgery. Some areas which the group said St. Charles did not report on were on practices such as hand-washing, having enough nurses and staff working together to prevent errors.

St. Charles Redmond, meanwhile, was scored for the first time and got an "A" grade. St. Charles facilities in Madras and Prineville are not in the grades listing.

Leapfrog’s bi-annual state rankings analysis, in which states are ranked according to their percentage of “A” hospitals, found significant improvements in five states since the inception of the Safety Grades in 2012, the results announced last week indicate.

Oregon, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Wisconsin and Idaho showed the most improvement over the five-year period since the inception of the Hospital Safety Grade, with the most dramatic being Rhode Island, which was ranked 50th in 2012 and ranked first in 2017. Other states with significant improvement include Oregon, going from 48th in 2012 to eighth this year, Hawaii from 36th to third, Wisconsin from 44th to sixth, and Idaho from 19th to fourth. 

“What we’ve learned is that transparency has a real impact on patient safety. By making the Hospital Safety Grades public, we’ve galvanized major changes in these states and many communities,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog. “Not only does it require dedication from national organizations, such as Leapfrog, to make this information public, but also from local coalitions, regional leaders, employers, business leaders and other community organizations to work with these hospitals and their communities to improve the quality and safety of health care.”

One state appears on the state rankings for the first time, the state of Maryland. Maryland had previously been the only state unable to be graded due to an exemption from reporting key safety metrics at the national level. Unfortunately, Maryland ranked fourth from the bottom.

Of the 44 hospitals graded in Maryland, just one (2.3%), Howard County General Hospital in Columbia, earned an “A”.

“Errors and infections in hospitals are the third leading cause of death in America, and people deserve to know which of their hospitals are best at preventing them,” Binder said.

She noted that one of the factors contributing to the improvement among these states is local organizations rallying around broader improvements in health care. For example, Oregon, Hawaii, and Wisconsin all have active coalitions dedicated to patient safety within their local communities and hospitals. 

Additional findings include:

  • Of the 2,632 hospitals graded in the 2017 update, 832 earned an “A,” 662 a “B,” 964 a “C,” 159 a “D” and 15 an “F”
  • Hospitals with “F” grades are located in California, Washington D.C., Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, and New York 
  • Impressively, 59 hospitals nationwide have achieved an “A” in every scoring update since the launch of the Safety Grade in Spring 2012
  • The five states with the highest percentage of “A” hospitals this fall are Rhode Island, Maine, Hawaii, Idaho and Virginia
  • The five states with the lowest percentage of “A” hospitals this fall are North Dakota, Washington D.C., Delaware, Maryland and New York

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. It is updated every six months, once in the Fall and once in the Spring. For more information about the Safety Grade, as well as individual hospital grades and state rankings, please visit www.hospitalsafetygrade.org and follow the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade on Twitter and Facebook.


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