WRMC earns "A" for patient safety
Contact: Tammy G. Love
VP of Business Development
Phone: (336) 651-8116
By Kaitlin Dunn
Wilkes Journal-Patriot Staff
Wilkes Regional Medical Center in North Wilkesboro again earned an “A” for patient safety from the Leapfrog Group, a national healthcare consumer education organization.
Twice each year, Leapfrog evaluates more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals and awards them letter grades (A-F).
Scores are calculated through 30 areas of care within the categories of infections, problems with surgery, practices to prevent errors, safety problems and doctors, nurses and hospital staff.
This is the seventh consecutive A grade for WRMC. The hospital’s last grade other than an A was in spring 2013, when it received a C.
“We are very proud of our physicians, nurses, and all team members who have played a vital role in this achievement and have dedicated their lives to ensuring our patients receive the very best healthcare services,” said WRMC President and CEO Gene Faile.
“The people of our region deserve safe, effective, patient-focused care. This Leapfrog score validates our deep commitment to providing that care by our outstanding team of healthcare professionals,” said Faile.
Barbara Overby, WRMC’s vice president of quality improvement, said WRMC’s latest overall grade from Leapfrog “confirms the quality of care we provide for our patients and the trust in healthcare it provides for our community.”
Among the 30 areas of care, WRMC scored above average in 22, below average in two and average in three.
No results were listed for WRMC in three areas of care: “serious breathing problem,” “death from serious treatable complications” and “infection in the blood during ICU stay.”
WRMC scored below average in "specially trained doctors care for ICU patients" and "communication about discharge." Faile was asked but didn’t comment on these results.
Leapfrog gave WRMC a five in "specially trained doctors care for ICU patients.” This was the lowest among all hospitals, with 41.66 being the average and 100 the highest. The report says about this area of care “A critical care unit or Intensive care Unit (ICU) is a special part of the hospital that provides care for extremely ill patients. Hospitals should have special doctors called intensivists working in the ICU. Intensivists are physicians with advanced training in intensive or critical care.”
WRMC received a three in "communication about discharge," with five being the highest and 3.27 the average. The report says this area of care “summarizes how well the hospital staff communicated with patients about the help they would need at home after leaving the hospital. The measure also summarizes how often patients reported that they were given written information about symptoms or health problems to watch for during their recovery.”
Results for other area hospitals included a grade of A for Hugh Chatham in Elkin, Watauga in Boone, Northern Hospital of Surry County in Mount Airy and Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem had a B.
Leapfrog was launched by large organizations like AARP, CBS, FedEx Corp. and Marriott International Inc. in 2000. It started issuing safety scores in the spring of 2012.
The latest hospital safety scores are at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.