SPRINGFIELD – Reflecting their commitment to quality and safety, Baystate Medical Center in Springfield and Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield have earned their fourth consecutive “A” ratings in the Leapfrog Group’s most recent Hospital Safety Score rating – identifying both hospitals as among the safest in the country and state.
Released twice yearly, the Fall 2013 update to Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score assigns A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,500 general hospitals in the country. Of the 2,539 general hospitals issued a Hospital Safety Score, 813 earned an “A,” 661 earned a “B,” 893 earned a “C,” 150 earned a “D” and 22 earned an “F.”
Leapfrog, an independent, national nonprofit organization that administers the score, is an advocate for patient safety nationwide. According to the group’s president and CEO, Leah Binder, the fall scores show many hospitals are making headway in addressing errors, accidents, injuries and infections, but overall progress is slow.
“During this time of rapid health care transformation, it’s vital that we work together to arm patients with the information they need and tell doctors and hospitals that the time for change is now,” she said.
According to Dr. Evan Benjamin, senior vice president of Health Care Quality and chief quality officer of Baystate Health, long before the current push in the healthcare industry for maximum accountability and transparency by hospitals, Baystate Health made delivering safe, high-quality care its top priority for every patient.
“Our continued high rankings are a testament to the high level of care delivered by our healthcare teams from our physicians and nurses to our clinical and support staffs, combined with our stringent infection control practices and our leadership in the early adoption of the electronic medical record,” Benjamin said.
The Hospital Safety Score is calculated under the guidance of the Leapfrog Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, with a fully transparent methodology analyzed in the peer-reviewed Journal of Patient Safety. As result of the push for more public reporting of hospitals’ safety efforts, Leapfrog added two new measures to the latest Hospital Safety Score release, including Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs) and Surgical Site Infections: Colon (SSI: Colon).
Dr. Randolph Peto, director, Quality and Patient Safety, at Baystate Health said caregivers throughout the health system encourage patients and families to become active members of their health care team.
“We participate in the National Patient Safety Foundation’s ‘Ask Me 3’ campaign, which was designed to improve communications between patient and caregiver, resulting in improved health outcomes,” Peto said.
The national safety campaign encourages patients to ask their health care providers three questions: What is my main problem? What do I need to do? and Why is it important for me to do this?
“In today’s era of complex care, it’s important for patients and family members to consider themselves a part of the team delivering their care. One of the best things patients can do is to ask questions early and often – to know what their disease is, to understand the ramifications if they don’t follow their care plan, and how they can become the best teammate in treating their condition,” Peto said.
Studies have shown that patients who understand health instructions make fewer mistakes when they take their medicine or prepare for a medical procedure. They may also get well sooner or be able to better manage a chronic health problem.
Leapfrog also ranks U.S. states based on the percentage of hospitals in the state that received an “A” grade. Massachusetts ranked second at 76 percent behind Maine, where 80 percent of their hospitals received an “A.”
For more information about the Hospital Safety Score or to view the list of state rankings, visit www.hospitalsafetyscore.org