Leapfrog Group Rates Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton an ‘A’ for Patient Safety
Posted Date: 12/26/2012
Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton has been doing its homework on patient safety.
The hospital was among only 11 hospitals in Georgia to earn an “A” rating from the nonprofit healthcare research firm Leapfrog Group, which analyzed 2,618 U.S. hospitals and provided each a letter grade based on how each scored on 26 measures of hospital safety. The firm used data from its own survey, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the annual survey of the American Hospital Association.
“Once again, we see that our efforts at achieving the highest possible level of care are placing us among the nation’s top healthcare providers,” said Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner Health System. “We are proud that our commitment to being among the nation’s top 10 percent of healthcare providers continues to earn Tanner national distinction; and more, we are grateful for the outstanding work that our medical staff and our team of healthcare professionals does to deliver this extraordinary level of care.”
The rating puts Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton in some fairly elite company; among other facilities earning an “A” from the Leapfrog Group were the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston, Fla., and New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
The Leapfrog Group’s hospital safety scores grade general acute care hospitals on a range of criteria that determine how safe the hospitals are for patients. The scores provide a single, consumer-friendly composite score that is published as a letter grade.
Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton was the only one of the health system’s hospitals evaluated by the Leapfrog Group. The firm did not calculate grades for critical access hospitals, such as Tanner’s Higgins General Hospital in Bremen, or behavioral health hospitals like Willowbrooke at Tanner in Villa Rica. Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica also was not included, as the facility lacked the volume to report sufficient data for the Leapfrog Group’s evaluation.
“Our emphasis on a team approach to care—with physicians, nurses and others at every level of the organization—means that we have multiple providers with an eye on each patient’s wellbeing,” said William Waters IV, MD, chief medical officer for Tanner. “This is an approach that’s catching on elsewhere in the country, but its early implementation here at Tanner has placed us at the forefront in terms of quality, safety and even patient experience and satisfaction.”
The Leapfrog Group gave a “B” to 27 Georgia hospitals and a “C” to 32 hospitals in the state, while four earned a score of “D” and one—Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany—earned an “F.” Nationally, 790 hospitals earned “A” scores, while 678 earned a “B,” 1,004 earned a “C,” 121 earned a “D” and 25 earned an “F.”
In state-by-state analysis, hospitals in Massachusetts and Maine led the way with more than 80 percent of those states’ hospitals earning an “A,” while Illinois, South Carolina and Texas had the highest rate of hospitals earning an “F.”
The Leapfrog Group’s scoring took into account process and structural measures, which follow how well a hospital complies with best practices in patient care like how often staff administer an antibiotic one hour prior to a surgical incision to help prevent infections. It also considered outcome measures, which includes the incidence of adverse events for patients, such as if a foreign object had been left following surgery.
“The ‘A’ that Tanner earned here demonstrated that there’s a great deal that we’re doing right,” said Dr. Waters. “It means we’re being extremely careful and taking a critical look at each patient’s level of care to make sure that everyone is receiving the best possible treatment.”
The “A” score from Leapfrog Group caps a successful year of quality achievements for Tanner Health System. Both Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton and Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica were honored with HealthGrades’ Outstanding Patient Experience Award in the past year. In addition, Tanner Health System has been named one of the 15 Top Health Systems in the nation for 2012 by research firm Thomson Reuters, and Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton, Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica and Higgins General Hospital in Bremen were distinguished in 2012 as Top Performers on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission and were included in the highest category of the Georgia Hospital Association’s 2012 quality honor roll. Also in 2012, Tanner Ortho and Spine Center at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton was named No. 1 in Georgia by HealthGrades for overall orthopedic services for the fourth consecutive year.
According to Howard, Tanner isn’t prepared to rest on its laurels.
“Every time another score or survey or award comes out, the bar goes higher and higher,” Howard said. “Hospitals throughout the country are realizing how important it is that they show sustained, quantifiable progress in addressing patient care. It’s something that our board, our leadership and our staff have understood for a long time: the better able you are to provide excellent care, the better you’ll be able to serve your community. Each year, hospitals are going to get better, so we, too, must continue to improve to maintain our place at the top. The competition isn’t getting easier.”
The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization that uses the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality and affordability of health care for Americans. The firm was founded in 2000 with support from the Business Roundtable and national funders, and is now independently operated with support from its purchaser and other members. More information on the firm is available online at www.leapfroggroup.org.