WRMC gets top patient safety grade


Contact: Tammy G. Love

VP of Business Development

Phone: (336) 651-8116

By Emily Storrow
Wilkes Journal-Patriot Staff

Wilkes Regional Medical Center has again earned an “A” for patient safety from a national healthcare consumer education organization.

The Leapfrog Group’s Fall 2015 Hospital Safety Scores were released last week. The scores signify how well hospitals keep patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors. An “A” is the highest grade in the survey.

“The people of our region deserve the highest quality care that is safe, patient-focused, and results-oriented,” said WRMC President and Chief Executive Officer Gene Faile. “This Leapfrog score validates our deep commitment to providing that care by our outstanding team of healthcare professionals.”

This is the fifth consecutive time WRMC has earned the top grade--the hospital also earned “A” ratings in fall 2013, the fall and spring of 2014 and spring 2015.

Barbara Overby, vice president of quality improvement, said the hospital is proud of the fifth consecutive “A” rating.

She said it not only confirms WRMC’s quality of care, but also provides a sense of trust in healthcare for the community.

Leapfrog assigns A, B, C, D or F grades twice yearly to more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals. Scores are based on 28 measures of publicly reported safety data, including the hospital’s ability to prevent errors, accidents, injuries and infections.

“We are very proud of our doctors, 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 in our region,” Faile said.

Leapfrog launched its Hospital Safety Scores program in 2012, and WRMC first competed in fall 2013.

Other area hospitals earning an “A” grade include Hugh Chatham Memorial in Elkin, Caldwell Memorial Hospital in Lenoir, Iredell Memorial Hospital in Statesville, Davis Regional Medical Center in Statesville, Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory and Northern Hospital of Surry County in Mount Airy.

Area hospitals with a “B” grade include Watauga Medical Center in Boone, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem and Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

Some hospitals are not given a grade because they are not able to provide enough data, due to being too small or for other reasons. Participation is voluntary.

Leapfrog is a national nonprofit that was launched in 2000 by private and public health-care purchasers. Leapfrog members include employers such as AARP, CBS, FedEx Corporation and Marriott International Inc.

The hospital safety scores are available at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.

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