Published in Health Care

8 West Michigan hospitals garner top grades in semi-annual patient safety report card

BY Thursday, November 07, 2019 01:39pm

A pair of Spectrum Health-owned hospitals maintained their streaks by earnings top grades in a semi-annual report card on patient safety.

Greenville-based United Memorial and Zeeland Community in Ottawa County were among 32 hospitals across Michigan, including eight in West Michigan, to earn an “A” grade in the fall report card from The Leapfrog Group, a Washington D.C.-based advocate for patient safety and quality. Both hospitals have earned a top grade from The Leapfrog Group for seven straight reports.

Leah Binder COURTESY PHOTO

Other hospitals in the Western Lower Peninsula earning an “A” in The Leapfrog Group’s fall report card were: Bronson Battle Creek, Spectrum Health Lakeland-Niles, Spectrum Health Lakeland-St. Joseph, Spectrum Health Big Rapids, Mercy Health’s Hackley and Mercy campuses in Muskegon, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids, McLaren Northern Michigan in Petoskey, Munson Healthcare of Cadillac Otsego Memorial Hospital in Gaylord and Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.

Using data that’s publicly available, The Leapfrog Group twice a year grades more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals based on 28 safety metrics.

Hospitals with the top grade “show us their leadership is protecting patients from preventable medical harm and error,” Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, said in a statement. “It takes genuine commitment at every level — from clinicians to administrators to the board of directors — and we congratulate the teams who have worked so hard to earn this A.”

Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming, Spectrum Health’s Butterworth campus in Grand Rapids and the Blodgett hospital campus in East Grand Rapids, and Spectrum Health Ludington were among 21 hospital statewide that earned a “B” in The Leapfrog Group’s fall report card.

Ascension Borgess in Kalamazoo and Community Health Center of Branch County in Coldwater each earned a “C.”

“Choosing a hospital with a higher safety grade is vital because hospital mistakes are costly for patients and employers,” stated Bret Jackson, president of the Economic Alliance for Michigan, a business-labor coalition that coordinates the report card in the state with The Leapfrog Group. “The EAM and our members are committed to collaborating with hospitals across the state to ensure patients are receiving the safest possible care.”

At 41 percent, Michigan ranked 13th in the U.S. for the number of hospitals that earned an “A” in the fall report. That’s a significant improvement from 8.9 percent in the spring.

Seven hospitals in the state, including Munson Healthcare of Manistee, received a “D” in the fall report card and none received an “F.”

The Leapfrog Group’s fall Hospital Safety Grades report comes two decades after the landmark “To Err is Human” report by the Institute of Medicine, now known as National Academy of Medicine, that estimated that 44,000 to 98,000 people die annually in the U.S. from preventable medical errors at hospitals.

“Twenty years after To Err Is Human, we are still devastated by tens of thousands of needless deaths every year from medical errors,” Binder said. “We are seeing progress, with 45,000 fewer deaths from the hazards included in the Safety Grade. Still, much more needs to be done. Transparency is the first step.”

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