11:14am

Wed November 28, 2012
Health

Safety Grades Rise For Colorado Hospitals: One-third Garner 'A's; None Fail

The number of Colorado hospitals receiving an “A” grade for patient safety nearly doubled in the past six months, from seven to 13.

The Washington-based Leapfrog Group sets the grades nationwide and publicizes them to reduce the nearly 400 lives lost every day in U.S. hospitals due to preventable errors. These include hospital-borne infections and giving the patient the wrong medication or the wrong blood. Hospitals are ranked on their rates of such problems as well as related factors like staffing levels and prevention practices.

One-third of the 39 ranked Colorado hospitals received an “A” grade in a just-released report, while states like Maine and Massachusetts, with strong hospital safety programs, saw 80 percent or more receiving the top grade.

“Leapfrog is unbiased in telling the whole truth about how hospitals are doing, no matter how much discomfort that causes many of them. Consumers deserve ‘A’ hospitals and someday we may see all hospitals earning ‘A's.’ However, we are not there yet," said Keith Reissaus, board chair of The Leapfrog Group, in a media release.

Attaining an “A” once, however, didn’t mean staying in the top ranks. Two Colorado hospitals that received the highest grade in June slipped downward in the new report card. Parkview in Pueblo and St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction both dropped from an A to a C.

St. Mary’s received a zero grade on the size of its nursing staff. “Their rate of central-line associated blood-stream infections and rate of death from serious treatable complications after surgery also contributed to their grade change,” said Kristi Skowronski, a spokeswoman for the Leapfrog Group.

Parkview was downgraded for somewhat higher rates of infections, accidental cuts and pressure ulcers, among other issues.

Details of each hospital’s grade can be found at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.

Another 11 hospitals in Colorado received a grade of “B,” and 15 received a “C” grade. The last included Exempla Lutheran in Wheat Ridge, which boosted its grade from a “pending” or failing grade last June.

Colorado had none of the 147 hospitals nationwide receiving failing grades in this round of rankings.

The Colorado Hospital Association had objected to the Leapfrog study six months ago, but says changes have been made that no longer penalize certain hospitals for failing to report certain safety data. CHA also suggested patients seek personal references for quality hospitals, and check other websites with quality data, including Medicare’s Hospital Comparison, the state’s data on infections and CHA’s own Colorado Hospital Report Card.

Colorado Hospital Safety Scores November 2012

Colorado A-grade hospitals

  • Denver Health Medical Center (↑ from previous B-grade)
  • Mercy Regional Medical Center of Durango
  • Centura - St. Anthony, Lakewood (↑ from previous B-grade)
  • University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora
  • Exempla St. Joseph Hospital, Denver (↑ from previous B-grade)
  • McKee Medical Center, Loveland (↑ from previous B-grade)
  • Rose Medical Center, Denver
  • Centura – Porter Adventist Hospital, Denver
  • Delta County Memorial Hospital, Delta
  • Medical Center of Aurora (↑ from previous B-grade)
  • Sky Ridge Medical Center, Lone Tree
  • Centura – Littleton Adventist Hospital (↑ from previous C-grade)
  • Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center, Lafayette (↑ from previous B-grade)

Colorado B-grade hospitals

  • North Colorado Medical Center, Greeley
  • Platte Valley Medical Center, Brighton
  • Poudre Valley Hospital, Fort Collins
  • Boulder Community Hospital, Boulder (↑ from previous C-grade)
  • Centura – Penrose St. Francis Health Center, Colorado p Springs (↑ from previous C-grade)
  • Swedish Medical Center, Englewood (↑ from previous C-grade)
  • North Suburban Medical Center, Thornton (↑ from previous C-grade)
  • Sterling Regional MedCenter, Sterling
  • Centura - Parker Adventist Hospital, Parker (↑ from previous C-grade)
  • Medical Center of the Rockies, Loveland
  • Centura – St. Francis Medical Center, Colorado Springs

Colorado C-grade hospitals

  • Longmont United Hospital, Longmont
  • Montrose Memorial Hospital, Montrose
  • San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center, Alamosa
  • Exempla Lutheran Medical Center, Wheat Ridge
  • Centura - St. Mary Corwin Medical Center, Pueblo
  • Presbyterian – St. Luke’s Medical Center, Denver (↓ from previous B-grade)
  • Centura – St. Thomas More Hospital, Canon City
  • Parkview Medical Center, Pueblo (↓ from previous A-grade)
  • Memorial Health System, Colorado Springs
  • St. Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center, Grand Junction (↓ from previous A-grade)
  • Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center, La Junta
  • Community Hospital, Grand Junction
  • Valley View Hospital, Glenwood Springs
  • Centura – Avista Adventist Hospital, Louisville
  • Centura – St. Anthony North Hospital, Westminster