By Rome News-Tribune Staff, Rome News-Tribune —
When it comes to quality, some Georgia hospitals need a checkup — and it looks like Floyd County is a safe place to get it done.
Of the 81 Peach State hospitals graded in a new report, 32 received a “C,” while 20 earned a “B,” and 19 picked up an “A.” Seven others received a “D,” while three were not graded.
AdventHealth Redmond and Atrium Health Floyd were among those with “A” ratings.
Nearby Piedmont Cartersville Medical Center in Bartow County received a “B” while AdventHealth Gordon in Calhoun got a “C.” Polk County’s hospital isn’t large enough to be included in the ratings.
The findings are part of the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, developed by the independent nonprofit Leapfrog Group, which says it works for quality, safety, and transparency in the nation’s health system. The grades reflect how well a hospital protects patients from preventable errors, injuries and infections, which kill an estimated 250,000 Americans annually.
“With the increase in hospital infections during COVID-19, we continue our efforts to encourage Georgia hospitals to make patient safety a top priority,” Natasha Taylor, senior director of policy and access at Georgia Watch, said in an announcement. “The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades offer crucial information to help Georgia consumers make informed decisions about their healthcare.
Poor-performing hospitals aren’t limited to rural parts of the state. For example, Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital is among the facilities that received a “D” in the report, as did the health system’s Emory Hillandale Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown.
Georgians may have little recourse should they fall victim to a preventable error. An analysis from The Center Square found that the Georgia Composite Medical Board routinely dismisses an overwhelming majority of the complaints it receives.
“We appreciate those Georgia hospitals who are prioritizing patient safety,” Taylor said. “Through our reporting of this data, we hope to reinforce the critical importance of this work.”
Hospitals were graded in five major areas, with scores based on ratings in subcategories within those areas. Here’s a look at how our local hospitals stacked up against the nearly 3,000 general acute-care hospitals reviewed across the nation.
♦ AdventHealth Redmond was well above average in 5 of the 6 subcategories. It ranked slightly below average in controlling MRSA, a potentially dangerous type of staph bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics.
♦ Atrium Health Floyd was near the top in controlling MRSA and two other subcategories. It was a little below the average in controlling C. diff bacteria infections and urinary tract infections from catheters.
♦ Piedmont Cartersville Medical Center was slightly below average in controlling MRSA and surgical site infection following colon surgery, above average in the rest.
♦ AdventHealth Gordon was slightly below the national average in 5 of the 6 subcategories. It ranked with the best in controlling infection after colon surgery.
Problems with surgery
♦ AdventHealth Redmond scored above average in 6 of the 7 subcategories and slightly below in preventing accidental cuts and tears. For procedures of the abdomen and pelvis, there is a chance of an accidental cut or tear of the skin or other tissue, either during surgery or a when doctors use a tube to look into a patient’s body.
♦ Atrium Health Floyd was well above average in 4 of 7 subcategories. Slight downgrades came in preventing accidental cuts and tears, surgical stitches breaking open and deaths from treatable post-surgery complications such as pneumonia or heart attack.
♦ Piedmont Cartersville Medical Center was above average in all but one area. It ranked as average in preventing deaths from treatable post-surgery complications.
♦ AdventHealth Gordon was above average in 6 of 7 subcategories; slightly below in preventing serious breathing problems after surgery.
♦ AdventHealth Redmond was slightly below average in preventing falls causing broken hips. It was above average in the other 6 areas, including preventing all types of falls and injuries.
Atrium Health Floyd was well above average in 4 subcategories; slightly below in preventing falls and injuries and collapsed lung, which can happen when a doctor or nurse is inserting a catheter, a feeding tube, or even a pacemaker.
Piedmont Cartersville Medical Center was above average in 6 subcategories. It was slightly worse than average at preventing serious bedsores.
AdventHealth Gordon was rated below average in 5 of the 7 subcategories. It was above average in preventing falls causing broken hips and air or gas bubbles in the bloodstream.
Practices to prevent errors
♦ AdventHealth Redmond ranked with the top hospitals in 5 of the 7 subcategories. The report noted slightly lower patient satisfaction with the ability of communicate regarding medications and discharge.
Atrium Health Floyd was above average in 3 categories and average in 2, including the ability to communicate with patients. It was downgraded in the subcategory of using a barcode scan system to reduce the risk of a patient getting the wrong medication.
Piedmont Cartersville Medical Center raked below average only in the ability to communicate about medications and discharge. Those rankings in the review are based on patient feedback while most others are based on hard data.
AdventHealth Gordon ranked above average in 6 categories and average in the ability to communicate with patients about their medications.
Doctors, nurses and hospital staff
♦ AdventHealth Redmond scored with the best hospitals in 3 subcategories and above average in another 2. It was rated average on the responsiveness of staff, one of the areas based on patient feedback.
Atrium Health Floyd was in the top tier nationally in 3 categories and above average in the other 3 areas that rated personnel.
Piedmont Cartersville Medical Center was slightly below average in communication with patients, by doctors, nurses and staff. It also was below average in having specially trained doctors — intensivists — to care for ICU patients.
AdventHealth Gordon was downgraded in 2 of te 6 subcategories: Having intensivists for ICU patients and staff responsiveness.
The Leapfrog ratings come out twice a year, in the spring and in the fall.
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