Health & Fitness

Safest hospitals in SC aren’t in the Midlands, despite slight improvement, report card shows

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade explained

The Leapfrog Group, a Washington-based nonprofit, put together this explainer on how they grade hospitals and what you can do. Two Triangle hospitals saw their grades drop from A to C when the latest ratings came out on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.
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The Leapfrog Group, a Washington-based nonprofit, put together this explainer on how they grade hospitals and what you can do. Two Triangle hospitals saw their grades drop from A to C when the latest ratings came out on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

The safety grades are out for hospitals in South Carolina.

Only one Columbia or Lexington-area hospital received an A grade for safety scores in a biannual ranking by an organization that aims for transparency in the U.S. health system, and several received a C or D score.

Since 2012, the Leapfrog Group has published Hospital Safety Scores twice a year; once in the spring and once during fall. The rating is focused on “errors, accidents, injuries and infections.”

Based on this criteria, only Lexington Medical Center was awarded an A, the highest score among area hospitals graded by Leapfrog.

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This file photo shows Lexington Medical Center, which received a good grade in a recent report on hospital safety. Tim Dominick tdominick@thestate.com

Lexington Medical Center, improved its grade from a B to an A

Other Columbia-Lexington-area hospitals received C’s for the fall. Those include:

Providence Health, dropped one letter grade, from B in the spring to C

Palmetto Health Baptist Medical Center Columbia, improved its grade from D in the spring to C

Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge repeated its score from the spring ranking of C

Palmetto Health Richland repeated its score from the spring ranking of C

No other hospitals in the Midlands received an A score, while one that had an A grade in the spring dropped.

Newberry County Memorial Hospital dropped one letter grade, from A in the spring to B

Kershaw Health Medical Center repeated its score from the spring ranking of C

Palmetto Health Tuomey improved its grade from C in the fall to B

Overall in South Carolina, of the 46 hospitals that were ranked, 14 received a letter A. One received a D (Baptist Easley Hospital), and the Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties was graded a F.

The Pee Dee region received the best safety grades in the fall report. Although there are significantly fewer hospitals there, both McLeod Regional Medical Center of the Pee Dee and the Carolinas Hospital System in Florence received A grades in the report.

Like the Midlands, larger regions like the Lowcountry, Grand Strand and Upstate had mixed results. Among them, Upstate hospitals were cumulatively rated safest, with five of 13 hospitals receiving an A. By comparison, just two of 13 Lowcountry hospitals scored an A.

Nationally, South Carolina ranked 26th among all states, with 30.43 percent of its hospitals scoring an A rating. New Jersey (56.72 percent) was the top-rated state, while there was a three-way tie for lowest grade between Delaware, North Dakota and Washington D.C., as none had a hospital with an A grade.

Leapfrog graded more than 2,600 hospitals nationwide, and 32 percent earned an A, 24 percent earned a B, 37 percent a C, 6 percent a D and less than 1 percent scored an F, according to its website.

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, which reported that more than 500 people died on a daily basis because of these issues.

“Leapfrog advises the public never to reject emergency treatment based on a safety score, but to consult with a doctor about the best hospital for planned, elective procedures,” the News & Observer reported.

SC hospital safety grades

McLeod Seacoast B

Grand Strand Medical Center A

McLeod Loris B

Conway Medical Center A

Tidelands Health Waccamaw Community Hospital C

Tidelands Health Georgetown Memorial Hospital C

Carolinas Hospital System Marion B

Mount Pleasant Hospital C

East Cooper Medical Center C

Carolinas Hospital System A

McLeod Regional Medical Center of the Pee Dee A

Medical University of South Carolina University Medical Center A

Roper Hospital B

Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital C

Trident Medical Center C

McLeod Health Cheraw B

Summerville Medical Center B

Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center C

Palmetto Health Tuomey B

Beaufort Memorial Hospital A

Hilton Head Hospital B

Colleton Medical Center B

KershawHealth Medical Center C

Regional Medical Center of Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties F

Springs Memorial Hospital C

Providence Health C

Palmetto Health Baptist C

Palmetto Health Richland C

Lexington Medical Center A

Piedmont Medical Center A

Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge C

Newberry County Memorial Hospital B

Aiken Regional Medical Centers A

Laurens County Memorial Hospital B

Mary Black Memorial Hospital C

Spartanburg Regional Medical Center C

Self Regional Healthcare C

Pelham Medical Center C

Hillcrest Memorial Hospital A

Greer Memorial Hospital A

St. Francis Eastside A

Greenville Memorial Hospital B

St. Francis Hospital — Downtown A

Baptist Easley Hospital D

AnMed Health Medical Center C

Oconee Memorial Hospital A

SOURCE: hospitalsafetygrade.org

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