Three Louisville hospitals receive below average grades

Local hospitals get semi-annual report cards

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- The fall hospital report cards are out, and in some cases they contain disturbing results.

Of the 15 local hospitals that were graded by Leapfrog most were B’s and C’s; three local hospitals graded out below average and were given D’s.

While some hospitals actively provide information to groups like Leapfrog a spokeswoman told me that the majority of their data comes from government studies so it is public information.

As for whether you should be scared if your hospital received a low score it depends on who you ask.

When Becky Hunter takes her kids, or her grandkids to the hospital, she’s always on the lookout for a few things.

“I expect good service as far as quality doctor care and cleanliness,” Hunter said.

Quality care and cleanliness can be the difference between life and death claiming more than 200,000 lives every year according to Erica Mobley of the Leapfrog Group, which grades hospitals across the country.

“It’s a very frightening statistic that is sadly true that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in this country,” Mobley said.

“It’s one thing to go into the hospital sick, but to come out sicker than what you already were is even worse,” Hunter said.

Leapfrog graded 15 local hospitals in their fall ratings and handed out D’s to three hospitals: University, Jewish, and Saint’s Mary’s and Elizabeth.

“Patients would definitely be wise to think about what other hospitals might be available to them,” said Mobley.  “If they do decide to go to the hospital that receives a D to really talk to their doctor and all of their caregivers to make sure what they are doing to stay safe.”

Hospital representatives declined comment for this story but told us in statements that they remain committed to providing a high level of care.

“KentuckyOne Health is committed to delivering high quality, safe care for the people of Kentucky,” said spokesman David McArthur.  “We have implemented programs and best practices to improve quality and safety across all our facilities. The success of these initiatives can be seen in our internal reporting and we are confident it will be reflected in upcoming Leapfrog scores. While these Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades at some of our facilities may not reflect the culture of quality, safety and service instilled in recent years across KentuckyOne Health, we are confident that the commitment of nurses, physicians and employees at all our facilities will guide our improvement and the delivery of quality care.”

“Baptist Health has teams in place that monitor quality and safety data,” said Connie Barker.  “When opportunities to improve are identified, we implement strategies based on evidenced based practice guidelines and research. We are committed to providing safe, quality care to the communities we serve.”

“For more than 10 years, Norton Healthcare has publicly reported quality scores on the Norton Healthcare Quality Reporting (NHQR) website,” said Tom Johnson.  “These pioneering efforts gained both national recognition and paved the way for ongoing transparency in health care quality. Norton Healthcare utilizes numerous national benchmarks to drive continuous improvement for our patients, has won national awards for health care quality reporting and has earned disease-specific certifications inclusive of quality. We have made and continue to make progress in providing a safe environment for patient care and outcomes. This is an area of great focus and investment for Norton Healthcare.”

“Even when going to an A hospital, no hospital is perfectly safe,” said Mobley.  “The hospitals that do get A’s still make mistakes.”

It is worth noting that overall Kentucky's healthcare ranking improved going from 40th nationally to 35th, while Indiana fell six spots from 27th to 33rd.

For the full list of results click here.


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