Mercy Hospitals in Arkansas Earn ‘A’ Grades in Patient Safety

November 10, 2021

Mercy hospitals in Arkansas, including Mercy Fort Smith and Mercy Northwest Arkansas, have received ‘A’ Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades for achievements in protecting patients from harm and errors in the hospital. This marks Fort Smith’s 11th consecutive ‘A’ grade and Northwest Arkansas’ fifth.

"We are so proud of the dedication our team shows every day," said Ryan Gehrig, Mercy Hospital Fort Smith president. "To receive an 'A' in patient safety for the 11th straight time certainly reflects that dedication. Despite any challenges they may face, Mercy co-workers have proven time and again that they will continue to deliver top-quality health care to our community."

Eric Pianalto, president of Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas, said the hospital’s team is committed to quality health care, and the latest Leapfrog ‘A’ is a great testament to that.

"Patient safety is an essential part of health care, and I commend our Mercy caregivers for making it such a high priority in everything we do. Many thanks to our team for making another 'A' possible!" Pianalto said.

Leapfrog Arkansas hospitals Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas (left) and Mercy Fort Smith received straight A's in patient safety from The Leapfrog Group for fall 2021.

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

In Arkansas, Mercy Hospital Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas were two of only 11 hospitals throughout the state to earn an ‘A’ grade from Leapfrog in the Fall 2021 grades.

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

“An ‘A’ Safety Grade is a tremendous achievement, of which this community should be extremely proud,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “I thank the leadership and workforce of Mercy Hospitals in Arkansas for their commitment to prioritizing patients and their safety, especially during these trying times.”

The ‘A’ grade from The Leapfrog Group is in addition to other recent recognitions of safety and quality at Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas, such as its five-star CMS rating and third straight year to be named a Top 100 Hospital by Fortune/IBM Watson Health. Mercy Fort Smith has received a Top 100 award for consumer loyalty along with its three-star CMS rating.

To see full grade details for Mercy Hospitals Arkansas and to access patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit HospitalSafetyGrade.org and follow The Leapfrog Group on Twitter and Facebook.

About The Leapfrog Group
Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey and new Leapfrog Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Survey collect and transparently report hospital and ASC performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog's other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems for four consecutive years by IBM Watson Health, serves millions annually. Mercy is one of the nation’s most highly integrated, multi-state health care systems, including more than 40 acute care, managed and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, convenient and urgent care locations, imaging centers and pharmacies. Mercy has 900 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 2,400 Mercy Clinic physicians and more than 40,000 co-workers serving patients and families across Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

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