The Leapfrog Group released its bi-annual hospital safety grades this week, giving Hardin Memorial Health (HMH) an “A” rating, up from a “B” this past spring and a “C” grade last fall. The national nonprofit evaluates and reports the safety and quality performance of more than 2,600 hospitals nationwide. Of the 50 hospitals rated in Kentucky, only 13 received an “A” rating.
Leapfrog looks at publicly available safety measures – inpatient injuries, infections, and medical and medication errors. HMH Chief Nursing Officer Sharon Wright said the HMH team is proud of the positive progression.
“This ‘A’ rating resulted from a total team effort to consistently use evidence-based infection control practices,” said Wright. “Doing so directly impacts and improves patient outcomes. That’s what pleases us most about this rating.”
Wright credited several practices for the improvements including using ultra violet light cleaning equipment; stronger longer-lasting antibacterial cleansers; personal protection equipment for isolation patients; protocols that limit catheter use; and mandating stringent hand washing.
“It may sound basic but washing hands before and after any patient interaction is as critical as anything we do when it comes to infection control,” said Wright.
Wright said patients, their families and all visitors to the hospital also play a role in successful infection control.
“Not only do we ask patients and their visitors to practice proper hand hygiene, but we also need them to speak up if anyone providing care inadvertently forgets to sanitize their hands when they come and go from patient rooms,” said Wright.
Wright added that Leapfrog is one of several organizations that release rankings throughout the year and HMH uses each survey to highlight possible improvements.
Wright emphasized how providing the very best and safest patient care must remain a constant priority.
“We constantly pursue excellence,” said Wright. “Our goal is zero deficiencies and an “A” grade.”