Local News

Watchdog group gives 2 Triangle hospitals 'C' grades

Posted November 7, 2019 5:24 a.m. EST
Updated November 7, 2019 10:58 a.m. EST

A report released Thursday from a watchdog group shows how safe hospitals are in the Triangle.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade rates hospitals based on infections, problems with surgeries, safety issues as well as practices to prevent errors.

In the Triangle, WakeMed hospitals in Raleigh and Cary received “C” grades.

Compared with other hospitals, both WakeMed in Raleigh and Cary had higher rates of infection and of objects being left in patients’ bodies.

They also had higher rates of death from serious but treatable complications.

WakeMed in Cary had received a “C” from the group last year.

This is the first in recent years the Raleigh location was given a C. The hospital has normally received a “B.”

In a statement, WakeMed said the Leapfrog scores don't recognize that the hospitals' infection rates have improved since 2018 or other new developments.

“We have a great opportunity to continue building on the improvements we have made over the past year," Dr. Karen Chilton, WakeMed’s interim chief quality officer, said in a statement. “We have an incredibly committed team, and by working together we can make a truly positive impact on our patients and the quality of care they receive.”

WakeMed's internal "Chasing Zero" campaign aims to "eliminate all preventable harm" including infections, falls with injury, preventable blood clots and other concerns, according to its website.

UNC Hospitals, Rex Hospital and Duke Raleigh, Duke Regional and Duke University hospitals received an “A.”

“We’re proud of the safe care that our coworkers and physicians provide every day to patients from across North Carolina,” Dr. Wesley Burks, CEO of UNC Health Care, said in a statement.

Duke Health said in a statement said the scores are evidence of the organization's commitment to safety of patients and employees.

"I thank our nurses, physicians and team members for their attention in keeping our patients safe and providing the highest quality care,” said Dr. William Fulkerson, executive vice president of Duke University Health System.

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville also received an “A.”

North Carolina has the fifth highest percentage of “A” hospitals in the United States, following Maine, Utah, Virginia and Oregon.

Some hospitals say Leapfrog penalizes hospitals for transparency, while others have criticized its methodology.

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