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National patient safety group gives out scores to WNY hospitals

Kenmore Mercy Hospital, similar to its performance in 2015, earned a grade of A in a national patient safety organization’s latest scoring for how well hospitals avoid errors and accidents.

Eastern Niagara Health System facilities in Lockport and Newfane received a D, the lowest score among the hospitals in Western New York graded by the Leapfrog Group. However, Eastern Niagara declined to report a host of measures in the voluntary program, influencing its grade, according to Leapfrog.

Three hospitals received grades of B – Mercy and Sisters, both in the Catholic Health system; and Erie County Medical Center.

Eight hospitals received grades of C – Jones Memorial in Wellsville, Olean General, United Memorial in Batavia, Mount St. Mary’s in Lewiston, the Sisters Hospital St. Joseph Campus, and Kaleida Health’s Buffalo General Medical Center, Millard Fillmore Suburban in Williamsville and DeGraff Memorial in North Tonawanda.

A limitation of the grades is that the Eastern Niagara and the Kaleida Health hospital system facilities are organized and rated as one institution, so their grades don’t reflect the results from the individual sites.

Leapfrog, an employer coalition that promotes hospital quality and patient safety, grades hospitals in the United States on how they protect patients from accidents, errors, injuries and infections.

The group’s measures include how well a hospital avoids preventable errors or accidents, such as deaths from serious treatable complications after surgery. Other measures look at how well hospitals follow procedures to prevent problems, such as using computerized systems to order medications.

Leapfrog based its grades on a voluntary survey it conducts, as well as quality-related hospital statistics already publicly available from the federal government’s Hospital Compare website.

Of the 2,571 hospitals nationwide issued a Hospital Safety Score, 798 earned an A, 639 earned a B, 957 earned a C, 162 earned a D and 15 earned an F.

An analysis performed for Leapfrog found that avoidable deaths in hospitals remain high, with a 9 percent higher risk of avoidable death in B hospitals, 35 percent higher in C hospitals, and 50 percent higher in D and F hospitals, than in A hospitals.

“It is time for every hospital in America to put patient safety at the top of their priority list, because tens of thousands of lives are stake,” Leah Binder, president and chief executive officer of Leapfrog, said in a statement.

“This important national survey confirms that outside, independent assessors concur that ECMC is succeeding in our effort to provide true care,” Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., president and chief executive, said in a statement.

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