Owensboro Health Regional Hospital attributes strides in patient care and safety in the past year to a team effort after receiving an “A” on its hospital safety grade through the Leapfrog Group.

The Leapfrog Group, an independent national watchdog organization, assigns grades to general hospitals across the country based on more than 30 national performance measures reflecting errors, injuries, accidents and infections, as well as systems hospitals have in place to prevent harm.

Grades are updated twice annually, in the fall and spring.

This is the hospital’s first time receiving an “A” since it began participating in Leapfrog’s grading system in 2018. The facility received a “B” on the past seven reports.

“It really looks at safety in a broad way, and asks ‘How safe are you in delivering care to the people that entrust their care to you?’,” said Dr. Francis DuFrayne, OH chief medical officer. “It is a rigorous process, and it really focuses on receiving safe care at hospitals. They look at things like infection rates that are associated with being in the hospital.”

Reaching an “A” status, according to DuFrayne, has been an ongoing effort that has been led for the past year by Dr. Bill Bryant, OH’s chief quality and patient safety officer.

“We’ve been steadily working and improving over the last couple of years,” DuFrayne said. “He (Bryant) has steadily worked with others to put all the features in place that have eventually led us to receiving these awards.”

DuFrayne said it has been a team effort that many throughout the organization have contributed to through dedicated work and safety measures.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on hospital prevention of medical errors and harm to patients. The grading system is peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public.

The grading scale looks at different safety measures throughout a hospital, including infection rates, such as urinary tract, staph and sepsis infections; problems with surgery, which may include surgical wounds reopening, blood leakage and breathing problems; general safety problems, such as patient falls and injuries, bed sores and blood clots; practices to prevent errors, including ordering medications electronically, handwashing, medication administration; as well as the doctors, nurses and hospital staff, including whether staff are responsive, staff communication and having enough qualified staff.

DuFrayne said that the hospital is looking to keep improving and working to provide the best quality of care it can to its patients.

“To us, it’s a very nice recognition for the care that we give here at Owensboro Health and a very good recognition for our team members for all of the work that they do, but this is not an end result,” he said. “This is an ongoing process, and we will continue to focus on delivering the best care possible at Owensboro Health.”

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7360

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