August 2012 NewsFlash

Wayne Memorial Hospital Receives “A” for Safety

(Honesdale, June 26, 2012)…The first-ever Hospital Safety Score of hospitals around the country gave Wayne Memorial Hospital an “A” for patient safety. The survey of 2,652 hospitals was performed by the non-profit group, Leapfrog, which focuses on patient safety and transparency in healthcare. Only 27% of the hospitals surveyed received a score of A.

“We have worked very hard to enhance patient safety,” said Marilyn Swendsen, Wayne Memorial Hospital’s Patient Safety Officer, “and while this survey is not the only measure, we are pleased to be recognized by this national leader in patient safety.”

Leapfrog graded hospitals from A to F on 26 measures, including medication administration & reconciliation, infection control initiatives, and outcomes of care. Under hospital acquired conditions, such as pressure ulcers, Wayne Memorial had perfect scores—zero— in three out of four measures and a near-perfect score in the fourth.

“In the last decade”, David Hoff, CEO said, “Wayne Memorial Hospital has invested millions of dollars in patient safety measures such as scannable, bar-coded patient wristbands, a medication system called PYXIS which helps reduce medication errors and a massive electronic medical records system (EMR). This last includes a CPOE or Computerized Physician Order Entry component which cuts down on the potential for misinterpreting prescriptions. CPOE, the last phase of Wayne Memorial’s information systems upgrade, went into effect earlier this year. It was listed only as “Willing to report” on the Leapfrog survey.”

“Our physicians, nurses and other staff have worked well together as a team to embrace all the new technologies and practices behind patient safety,” said Swendsen “they deserve the credit for their dedication to making patient safety ‘job one’ at Wayne Memorial Hospital. Our Board of Trustees is a champion of patient safety, making it a substantial part of every board meeting’s discussions. ”

Most of Leapfrog’s data for Wayne Memorial came from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare statistics, which CMS gathers from hospitals and posts on a website.

In the immediate region, only Wayne Memorial and Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton received A grades.

Out of all the states, Massachusetts was the “safest” with the highest percentage of hospitals receiving an A, while Pennsylvania came in at 22 with 23% of its participating hospitals receiving an A. (Some hospitals, such as specialty hospitals, are exempt from reporting certain statistics.)

Leapfrog says the goal of its Hospital Safety Score is to reduce deaths from hospital errors and injuries by publicly recognizing safety and exposing harm.

The survey, however is not without its critics. The American Hospital Association (AHA) disputes the survey methodology and questions the scoring based on the criteria used. In a letter to Leapfrog, AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock cites “an unfair bias toward responding to the survey, the use of unreliable measures, significant variation in the weights applied to measures for different groups of hospitals” and more.

Mr. Hoff noted that most of the data for Wayne Memorial Hospital appeared to be accurate, although several measures were reported as “Not Available.”

“Wayne Memorial is a member hospital of AHA,” said Mr. Hoff, “and I respect their differences with Leapfrog. In choosing a hospital for a treatment, screening or procedure, I would hope that patients look at a variety of measures and talk to their healthcare providers. It’s a complicated world with a full spectrum of opinions and data about almost everything. Education is key.”

National Patient Safety Day is July 25th.

Photo: Wayne Memorial operating room staff hold a “time out” immediately before starting a surgical procedure to perform a final check that the correct patient is about to undergo the correct procedure, on the correct site of her body and in the correct postion. Time Out is one of three universal patient safety protocols recommended by national healthcare organizations. Left to right: RNs Tara Olver and Sue Dutton with Michael Kline, MD.

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