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Larger Kentucky hospitals’ average grades for patient safety declined; overall national ranking about same


By Melissa Patrick
Kentucky Health News

A nonprofit group that rates hospitals has released its latest grades for keeping patients safe, giving Cs to most of the 51 Kentucky hospitals it rated. Their average grade was worse than the spring 2018 ratings, but Kentucky’s overall ranking among the states, based on the percentage of hospitals with A grades, improved one spot, to 33rd, from the spring report.

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit group based in Washington, D.C., rated over 2,600 hospitals. Most of Kentucky’s 129 hospitals were not rated, since rural hospitals with “critical access” status don’t have to report quality measures to the federal government.

The grades are calculated using 28 performance measures of patient safety that indicate how well hospitals protect patients from preventable medical errors, infections and injuries. The study notes that one in 25 patients leave hospitals with a new infection. It uses data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Leapfrog’s own survey, and the American Hospital Association’s annual survey and information-technology supplement.

Leapfrog gave As to 12 Kentucky hospitals, or nearly 24 percent of those graded, lower than the national average of 32 percent. It gave Bs to 12, Cs to 23, and Ds to 4. None got a failing grade. Compared to the spring report, five fewer hospitals got Bs and 10 more got Cs.

Low scorers

Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg got its second D in a row. Methodist Hospital of Henderson got its first D, and two Louisville are consistent low scorers, Jewish Hospital and the University of Louisville Hospital, again got Ds.

Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital in Louisville moved up to a C after receiving five Ds in a row.

Pikeville Medical Center kept its C for a second straight report card, after getting all As before that.

High scorers

The St. Elizabeth Healthcare hospitals in Edgewood, Florence and Fort Thomas all got As. so did Baptist Health Lexington, TriStar Greenview Hospital in Bowling Green and Whitesburg ARH Hospital.

Norton Audubon Hospital and Norton Hospital, both in Louisville, got their first As, both having received a mix of Bs and Cs since spring 2015.

Georgetown Community Hospital again got an A, after getting a B in the spring and a C last fall.

Clark Regional Medical Center in Winchester got its first A, having received two Cs and three Bs since spring 2016, the first time it was graded.

Harrison Memorial Hospital in Cynthiana and Middlesboro ARH Hospital, which had not been ranked for several years, also got As.

Moving down: examples

The two University of Kentucky hospitals dropped to a C. Both had received Bs since fall 2016.

Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown got a C, dropping from an A in the last two reports.

Murray-Calloway County Hospital dropped to a C after having received all As since fall 2015.

Baptist Health Richmond got its first C, having received two As and five Bs since spring 2015.

Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Ashland dropped to a C after having received all Bs since fall 2016.

Frankfort Regional Medical Center dropped to a B after receiving all As since spring 2015.

Moving up: examples

Lourdes Hospital in Paducah got a B, after having received Ds in the last two grading periods and Cs prior to that.

T.J. Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow got a B after receiving four Cs in a row.

Harlan ARH Hospital got a B, having received no score in the spring and Cs since the spring of 2017.

Jewish Hospital Shelbyville got a B after not getting a score since the spring of 2017 and having received two Cs prior to that.

Taylor Regional Hospital in Campbellsville moved back up to a C after getting a D in the spring. With the exception of that D, the hospital has received Cs since spring 2015.

The Leapfrog Group says its analysis was developed under the guidance of the nation’s leading patient-safety experts and is peer-reviewed. Click here to see all of Kentucky hospital’s Leapfrog hospital safety grades. Click here for Leapfrog recommendations on how to use the grades.


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