2 Upper Michigan hospitals get top safety rating

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Two Upper Michigan hospitals are getting "A" grades for safety.

The Economic Alliance for Michigan and The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit aiming to improve health care quality for consumers, employers and purchasers, announced the Fall 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades Thursday morning.

UP Health System-Marquette and UP Health System-Portage are the only Upper Michigan hospitals getting the top rating this fall.

The independent grading system assigns “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” and “F” letter grades to general acute-care hospitals in the U.S. based on their ability to protect patients from avoidable errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

“We are very pleased with this high mark for our hospitals,” said Brian Sinotte, Market President for UP Health System, in a press release. “This places us among the top tier of hospitals across the country when it comes to patient safety.”

“Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grades recognize hospitals like Portage and Marquette that focus on advancing patient safety. This ranking provides an important resource for patients, and a benchmark for hospitals, to determine how care at one hospital compares to others in a region,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “Hospitals that earn an A Hospital Safety Grade deserve to be recognized for their efforts in preventing medical harm and errors.”

Developed under the guidance of a National Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.

“We have implemented a number of quality-based initiatives,” said Randy Neiswonger, CEO of UPHS-Portage. “Through these best practices, we are able to reduce errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. This creates a much safer environment for our patients and employees.”

UPHS Portage and Marquette were two of 855 across the United States awarded an A in the Fall 2018 update of grades.

“I would like to thank all of our employees and medical staff for their hard work and dedication,” Sinotte continued. “We’ve made huge strides in quality and patient safety in recent years, and it’s because of their tireless commitment to our patients and communities across the Upper Peninsula.”

UPHS-Bell does not receive a Leapfrog letter grade due to its designation as a critical access hospital.

In Michigan, 81 hospitals were graded, and 32 earned an “A,” the highest total of “A’s” ever for the state. Michigan ranked eleventh overall for patient safety in the country, an impressive improvement from the Spring 2018 grades when the state ranked twenty-fourth.

“Our goal is to be number one in the country for patient safety and the Fall 2018 Hospital Safety Grades show we are on our way to being that,” said Bret Jackson, president, EAM. “The EAM and our members are committed to working together to make our state the safest in America.”

Two other U.P. hospitals received grades.

War Memorial Hospital in Sault Ste. Marie got a "C."

Dickinson County Healthcare System in Iron Mountain got a "B." It's the first time since the grading began in 2012 that DCHS did not receive an "A." The hospital was graded down in the categories of having effective leadership to prevent errors, handwashing, and patient falls.

To see full grades from other hospitals, click on the link in the related links section of this page.

Watch tonight's TV6 Early News for reaction from UPHS leaders.

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