It’s all “A”s for each of Virtua’s four hospitals, according to the fall 2014 Hospital Safety Score, which rates how well hospitals protect patients from errors, injuries and infections. The Hospital Safety Score is compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is administered by The Leapfrog Group, an independent industry watchdog organization. The score is designed to give consumers useful information they can use to choose a hospital for themselves and their families.
“We are very proud that all of our hospitals have achieved “A” ratings for patient safety from the prestigious Leapfrog Group,” said Virtua President and CEO Richard P. Miller. “We have rigorous standards and continually monitor clinical performance to ensure that our patients are protected. Training is standard procedure for all of our clinicians, and we implement best practices from simple procedures to the most technologically advanced. This excellent rating is a much-deserved recognition of the exceptional care and commitment Virtua physicians and staff provide every single day.”
Miller went on to say that “no matter where a patient enters at Virtua, he or she will get the same level of care, because we apply the same processes and have the same structures in place at all of our facilities.”
The Hospital Safety Score consists of 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data that involve processes, structures, and outcomes. All of this is compiled to produce a single letter grade that represents a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm and medical error.
While Virtua has numerous safety measures in place, it attributes much of its success to the culture of safety it has established throughout the health system as well as the infrastructure it has created to support and strengthen that culture.
At its core are the relationship based care and shared governance models that Virtua staff practices. This enables everyone on the team to identify issues and recommend solutions, which has had a highly positive impact on safety and quality as has the addition of a physician patient safety officer.
“Technology has been another plus in creating a safe environment,” Miller said. “In addition to electronic medical records, the expansion of our Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) system has had a tremendous impact on patient safety. This technology helps to prevent medication errors.”
Nationally, more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals were assigned scores in fall 2014, with about 31-percent receiving an “A” grade. The Hospital Safety Score is completely transparent, with a full analysis of the data and methodology used in determining grades available online.
“Patient safety needs to be a 24–7 priority for hospitals, as errors and infections are all too common and often deadly,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, which administers the Hospital Safety Score. “We commend the ‘A’ hospitals, including all Virtua hospitals, for helping us to raise the standards of health care nationwide, and demonstrating that they’ve made the well-being of patients a top priority.”