A hospital can have the best doctors or the latest technology, but if safety is not a priority all the other things are for naught, according to health officials.
That may be why Scotland Memorial Hospital is touting a study that ranks it at the tops for safety.
Scotland Health Care System was honored with an “A” Hospital Safety Score by Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit organization run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits. The study was conducted in 2011.
The A, B, C, D or F scores assigned to U.S. hospitals are based on preventable medical errors, injuries accidents and infections, according to Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group.
Each score was compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is designed to give the public information they can use to protect themselves and their families.
The survey listed a total of 20 hospitals in North Carolina with an A grade.
“Hospitals which earn an A have demonstrated their commitment to their patients and their community,” Binder said. “I congratulate Scotland for its safety excellence, and look forward to the day when all hospitals will match this standard.”
The Scotland health system ranked high — rating a 20 out of 20 — when it came to making sure a culture of safety was a priority. Scotland Memorial also ranked at the top — 120 out of 120 — for its identification and mitigation of hazards and risks. The hospital also got a perfect score on how antibiotic allocation.
Scotland was also above average for its leadership on safety with a score of 111.4 out 120. The average score was 108.9
The Laurinburg hospital scored a 95.24 for its staffing of nurses. The best hospital got a score of 100 and the average score was 88.4.
The hospital did rank below average on measures like teamwork training and skill building — with a score of 28 out 40. The average score was 32.8.
For measures like hand washing, the score was 15 out of 30, with the average hospital score at 26.8.
Lori Dove, Scotland’s vice president of quality and resource management, said the A grade validates how seriously safety is considered.
“Our employees, physicians, administrators, and trustees take the provision of health care services to our community,’ dove said. “We have the unique opportunity to change people’s lives and to interact with patients and families during times of difficulty as well as times of joy. This sacred trust is foremost in our thoughts, actions, and deeds during each patient and family encounter.”
Some of the hospitals also receiving the A rank were: Duke University Hospital,Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Rex Hospital, Inc.Carolinas Medical Center - Union and CMC - University.
Southeastern Regional Medical Center in neighboring Robeson County got a B rating as did FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst. Cape Valley Medical center in Fayetteville got a C rating.
There were only two hospitals in North Carolina that got a D rating. They were: Columbus Regional Healthcare in Whiteville, and Murphy Medical Center in Murphy.
Massachusetts was ranked at the top with 83 percent of its hospitals gaining an A rating. The Tar Heel state was ranked 23rd in the nation.
The Leapfrog Group had a nine-member Blue Ribbon Expert Panel uses 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single score representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from infections, injuries, and medical and medication errors.
The panel includes officials from the University of Michigan, Harvard University), Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of California, Davis), Vanderbilt University, and the University of California, San Francisco.