Not one Columbia or Lexington-area hospital received a letter “A” for safety scores in a bi-annual ranking by an organization that aims for transparency in the U.S. health system.
The Leapfrog Group graded 2,632 hospitals nationwide, awarding “A” grades to 832, or about a third. Since 2012, the safety guide has been publishing twice a year; once in the spring and once during fall.
The organization ranks hospitals because it has a “real impact on patient safety, said Leah Binder, president of Leapfrog, in a news release.
“Errors and infections in hospitals are the third leading cause of death in America, and people deserve to know which of their hospitals are best at preventing them,” said Binder. “By making the Hospital Safety Grades public, we’ve galvanized major changes in these states and many communities.”
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In the Columbia-Lexington area, only Lexington Medical Center was awarded a “B” score, dropping a letter grade from the spring rankings when it received an “A.”
Other Columbia-Lexington-area hospitals received Cs or less for the fall. Those include:
▪ Palmetto Baptist Medical Center Columbia, which dropped a letter grade from “C” to “D.”
▪ Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, which dropped a letter grade from “C” to “D.”
▪ Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital, which repeated its score from the spring ranking of “C.”
▪ Providence Health, which dropped a letter grade from “B” to “C.”
Three hospitals in the Midlands, however, received an “A” score.
▪ Kershaw Health Medical Center received an “A” after not being ranked in the spring.
▪ Newberry County Memorial Hospital maintained its “A” ranking, which it has held since Spring 2016.
▪ Palmetto Health Tuomey improved its grade from “B” in the spring to “A.”
Overall in South Carolina, of the 46 hospitals that were ranked, 19 received a letter “A.” Three received a “D,” while none got a letter “F.”
The grades are based on safety data and represent “a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors,” according to Leapfrog.
Staff writers Cassie Cope of the Charlotte Observer and John Murawski of the News & Observer contributed to this story.
Cynthia Roldán: @CynthiaRoldan