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Lakewood Regional Medical Center Receives High Rankings in Patient Safety

By Brian Hews

The doctors, nurses, and administrative staff at Lakewood Regional Medical Center have a lot to be proud of these days.

Two recent reports ranked the hospital at or near the top in patient safety.

A report published by consumer reports.org the website for the magazine Consumer Reports ranked the hospital, located on South St in nearby Lakewood, among the top 25 hospitals, out of 340, in the state for patient safety.

A second report, published by the Leapfrog Group at hospitalsafetyscore.org gave the hospital an “A” in their Spring 2014 Hospital Safety Score The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Score rating system is designed to give consumers information they can use to make the best healthcare decisions for themselves or a loved one.

Leapfrog uses national performance measures from the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to produce a single score representing a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors.

In addition, secondary data from the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey was used to give hospitals as much credit as possible toward their safety score. The Hospital Safety Score includes 28 measures, all currently in use by national measurement and reporting programs.

Consumer Reports has also studied hospital safety and has rated more than 2,500 hospitals “safety scores.” Their ratings are based on how likely patients are to die within 30 days of being admitted for a heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia. They consider how often surgery patients with serious, treatable complications die in the hospital.

The safety score is a summary of five categories that relate to hospital safety: avoiding infections, avoiding readmissions, communicating about medications and discharge, appropriate use of chest and abdominal scanning, and avoiding mortality (medical and surgical). The score is expressed on 100-point scale. A hospital would score a 100 if it earned the highest possible score in all measures and would score 1 if it earned the lowest scores in all measures. Each of the five domains (infections, readmissions, mortality, communication, scanning) is weighted equally. Each are worth 20 points out 100.

Lakewood Regional received a 62, with the top hospital garnering a 78.

The data is taken from people 65 and older, but Consumer Reports says it’s a good indication of a hospital’s attention to safety.

Consumer Reports hopes that by putting a spotlight on safety, hospitals will do a better job preventing hospital errors.

“We are proud of our recent “A” grade, and the ranking from Consumer Reports, as we believe it recognizes Lakewood Regional Medical Center’s commitment to providing safe, quality healthcare to our patients,” said Ron Galonsky, CEO of Lakewood Regional Medical Center. We are committed to continually monitoring and improving the care we provide. Patient safety is the top focus for us–one that requires diligence with every patient, every day.”