Safety has improved over the last few months at Lehigh Regional Medical Center, according to a recent national rating program.
Last week, the Leapfrog Group announced new grades for the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, the first and only national health care rating focused on errors, accidents and infections.
The program has been assigning A, B, C, D and F letter grades to general acute-care hospitals in the United States since 2012, according to a prepared statement.
Lehigh Regional received a B for the spring of 2017. In the fall of 2016, the center received an F.
The Lehigh facility had no prior grades before last fall.
According to the Leapfrog Group, there have been significant strides in improving patient safety since the start of the program, like a 21 percent decline in hospital acquired conditions, increased adoption and improved functionality of computerized physician order entry systems, and millions of averted patient harms.
Nonetheless, problems with safety persist, with more than 1,000 people a day estimated to die from preventable errors, making it the third leading cause of death in America.
"When we launched the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade in 2012, our goal was to alert consumers to the hazards involved in a hospital stay and help them choose the safest option," Leah Binder, president and chief executive officer of Leapfrog, said. "We also hoped to galvanize hospitals to make safety the first priority day in and day out."
"So far, we've been pleased with the increase in public awareness and hospitals' commitment to solving this terrible problem," she said. "But we need to accelerate the pace of change, because too many people are still getting harmed or killed."
The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is calculated by top patient safety experts and peer reviewed.
Out of over 2,600 hospitals nationwide, 63 have achieved an A in every scoring update since the program's inception.
Other points to note:
- Of the 2,639 hospitals rated, 823 earned an A, 706 earned a B, 933 earned a C, 167 earned a D and 10 earned an F
- The five states with the highest percentage of A hospitals are Maine, Hawaii, Oregon, Wisconsin and Idaho
- Maine is the only state to sustain its ranking as one of the top five states in percentage of A graded hospitals since 2012
For more about the program, as well as hospital grades and state rankings, visit: www.hospitalsafetygrade.org/.
Lehigh Regional Medical Center is at 1500 Lee Blvd.
For more information, call 239-369-2101 or visit on the web at: www.lehighregional.com/.
Source: Leapfrog Group