Ten Mercy hospitals across four states, including three in the St. Louis area earned A grades for safety – Mercy Hospitals Jefferson, St. Louis and Washington, all of which earned Straight A status.
The Leapfrog Group on Thursday released its spring 2020 Hospital Safety Grades, which score hospitals on how they protect their patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections. For the seventh consecutive reporting period Mercy Hospital Jefferson has earned the highest rating.
“Our priority has always been providing the highest quality of care to our patients,” said Dr. Keith Starke, Mercy chief quality officer. “The expert care delivered by our physicians, nurses and staff throughout the Mercy system continues to be recognized by national groups such as Leapfrog, and we are pleased that these grades put Mercy among the best hospitals in the country.”
The 10 Mercy Hospitals are among 858 in the country that received A grades this spring. The ratings are issued twice annually – in the spring and in the fall. By maintaining an A Grade since Spring 2017, Mercy Jefferson is designated as a Straight A hospital. Only 183 hospitals in the nation have held a Straight A distinction for that long.
“Mercy is continually committed to improving the safety of patients who trust the care we provide,” said Dr. Karthik Iyer, chief medical officer for Mercy Jefferson. “We are diligent about adopting nationally recognized best practices for safety. We’re proud to be recognized by the Leapfrog group for this work.”
The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. It is updated every six months, once in the fall and once in the spring.
“To have three of our area hospitals earn Straight A status for safety for so many years, it really highlights the great work done by our teams – those at the bedside, those who keep our space clean and everyone else who goes above the call year after year,” said Kat Nelson, chief quality officer for Mercy’s eastern Missouri region. “It’s our privilege to care for our patients, and we strive to do it in a safe environment.”
Leapfrog has updated grades for 2,600 general hospitals across the country. Using 28 evidence-based measures of patient safety, The Leapfrog Group calculated a numerical score for all eligible hospitals in the U.S. The numerical score was then converted into one of five letter grades: A, B, C, D or F. Read more about Leapfrog scoring here.
Leapfrog’s Board of Directors, regional leaders and staff expressed gratitude for Mercy’s dedication and courage as part of America’s health care workforce, as “the COVID-19 pandemic threat reminds us all how much we depend on your bravery and caring at our most vulnerable moments.”
In addition to the continued recognition from Leapfrog for patient safety, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) refreshed its star ratings in February, and Mercy Hospital Jefferson achieved four-star status. The improved rating is part of an ongoing trend that has seen Mercy Jefferson climb steadily from a two-star distinction on the agency’s Hospital Compare website, which focuses on overall quality of care at more than 4,000 hospitals across the country.