WRMC gets top safety award


Contact: Tammy G. Love

VP of Business Development

Phone: (336) 651-8116

By Emily Storrow 
Wilkes Journal-Patriot Staff

Wilkes Regional Medical Center earned a top grade for patient safety on its latest report card from the Leapfrog Group, a healthcare consumer education organization.

The “A” rating was announced Oct. 29, when Leapfrog revealed scores of its fall 2014 Safety Score Report, which rated 2,520 hospitals nationwide for patient safety. The report is issued in the spring and the fall, and this is WRMC’s third consecutive “A” rating. The hospital also received “A” ratings fall 2013 and this spring.

WRMC President and CEO Gene Faile said the honor validated the hospital’s commitment to providing quality care.

“Wilkes Regional is currently the only hospital in the region to receive this honor for two consecutive years, and to also be named by the Joint Commission as a “top performer” in key quality metrics as well,” he said. The Joint Commission is a nonprofit accrediting entity.

“We have become a recognized leader in quality care for our region and in the Carolinas Healthcare System.”

The results are based on publicly reported hospital data, physicians’ computerized order entries and a survey submitted by each participating hospital.

The survey assesses three areas: how patients fare, the resources used in caring for patients and the leadership and structures that promote patient safety.

“They look pretty comprehensively at all the services you provide,” Vice President of Quality Improvement at WRMC Barbara Overby said. She said specific areas addressed by the survey include the intensive care unit, surgery and how the hospital is budgeted to provide quality care.

Other northwestern N.C. hospitals achieving an “A” grade were Hugh Chatham Memorial of Elkin and Northern Hospital of Surry County in Mount Airy.

The Leapfrog Group said 31.3 percent, or 790, of the 2,520 hospitals rated nationally earned an A grade. About 27.3 percent, or 688, earned a B; 34.4 percent, or 868, earned a C; 5.9 percent, or 148, earned a D; and 1.1 percent, or 26, earned an F.

Leapfrog is a national not-for-profit organization that was launched in 2000 by private and public health-care purchasers. Leapfrog members include employers such as FedEx Corporation, Marriott International Inc., Transamerica and Verizon.

The group’s name, Leapfrog, is a reference to its mission “to trigger giant leaps forward in the safety, quality and affordability of health care.”

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