D Is Not a Passing Grade

There is an organization that grades hospitals on “how safe they keep their patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections.”  You can access their website and search out hospital scores in your area here. The safety score is calculated using data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the voluntary Leapfrog Hospital Survey.  Scores are published twice a year.  As you can see, UMC had a “C” grade in spring of this year and received a “D” score in safety for fall of the same year (see the graphic at the beginning of this article).

According to their web site: “The Hospital Safety Score is a public service provided by The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization committed to driving quality, safety, and transparency in the U.S. health system. The Hospital Safety Score is becoming the gold standard measure of patient safety, cited recently in MSNBC, The New York Times, and AARP The Magazine. ”

We mention this, not to fling mud at UMC, but rather as an overreaching concern.  All of the other hospitals in El Paso received A and B scores.  UMC, on the other hand, has had a difficult year:  they almost lost their accreditation due to issues with infection control (you can read the report here) and now they have received a D grade in patient safety.  Now that UMC is going to be “sharing” services with EPCH to reduce costs, will these same issues be perpetuated down to the Children’s Hospital?

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