MERCED — Mercy Medical Center received an A for patient safety from a nonprofit group, up from a C earlier this year.
The Leapfrog Group released Wednesday its fall 2013 update to its hospital safety scores for more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals. The facilities were assigned grades of A through F.
About a third of the hospitals received As, about a quarter Bs and fewer than a tenth Cs. Less than 1percent received Fs.
Erica Mobley, senior manager of communications and development for Leapfrog, said the rankings are based on a grading system developed by a team of hospital safety experts. We wanted a consumer-friendly tool, she said
Mobley said Mercy has made major strides in patient safety since the spring, particularly in the areas of staffing in the intensive care unit and in installing a computerized order entry system. The latter, she said, alerts a doctor of a potential problem with a prescription, such as an adult dosage for a child patient.
Its the best way possible of preventing medication errors, she said.
Dr. Rob Streeter, vice president of medical affairs at Mercy, said hospital officials were happy about the grade but that the more important goal is doing the best thing for every patient, every day.
Its a constant effort, he said. The hospital was able to improve ICU staffing through a remote monitoring system based in St. Louis that allows specialists to keep a real-time eye on patients conditions.
Elsewhere in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, Doctors Hospital of Manteca, the Kaiser hospitals in Manteca and Modesto, Memorial Medical Center in Modesto and Sutter Tracy Community Hospital received As. Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, Sonora Regional Medical Center and St. Josephs Medical Center in Stockton received Bs. Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock and San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp received Cs.
The American Hospital Association has claimed that there are shortcomings in Leapfrogs hospital safety survey.
Research shows that as many as 440,000 U.S. patients are dying annually from preventable hospital errors, according to a Leapfrog news release. This puts medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to the release.
The Washington, D.C.,-based Leapfrog Group is a voluntary program. Among other initiatives, Leapfrog works with its employer members to encourage transparency and easy access to health care information as well as rewards for hospitals that have a proven record of high-quality care.
For more information about the Hospital Safety Score or to view the list of state rankings, visit www.hospitalsafetyscore.org