Health & Family

Most Charlotte-area hospitals get A’s and B’s from Leapfrog group

Most Charlotte-area hospitals got A’s and B’s on the latest scorecard issued by The Leapfrog Group, a group of large employers that is pressuring hospitals to improve quality and reduce errors.

Of area hospitals, only two got C’s. They are Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte’s largest hospital, and CMC-Lincoln, both owned by Carolinas HealthCare System.

Leapfrog released its first safety scores in 2012, grading about 2,500 U.S. hospitals on data that tracks preventable errors and medical complications, such as hospital-acquired infections and medication mix-ups. The group issues overall grades and individual grades in 28 categories.

Few scores have changed for Charlotte-area hospitals since 2012, when Gaston Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville also received A’s and Carolinas Medical Center also received a C. Since the first report, CMC-Mercy and CMC-University have improved from C’s to B’s.

Asked to comment, officials from Carolinas HealthCare cited the accolades they’ve received for quality from other organizations, such as the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which selected the Charlotte system as one of five to be part of the Hospital Engagement Network that is “establishing national best practices to improve patient safety, quality and cost reduction.”

Carolinas HealthCare’s statement added: “The Leapfrog data should be viewed as a snapshot in the rearview mirror of hospitals’ performances and is not reflective of the safety improvements we’ve seen from our recent efforts in multiple areas across our entire integrated healthcare system.”

Leapfrog officials have said patients can get good care at hospitals with C grades, but the likelihood of harm being done at hospitals with A grades is lower. For more about the Leapfrog scores: www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.

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