Bi-annual rankings reveal deficiencies at WakeMed; hospital says they’re being addressed

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — New rankings of area hospitals indicate medical care in the Triangle tends to be pretty good.

Most of our hospitals scored well, but WakeMed hospital has some serious deficiencies that the health care facility says it’s addressing. 

In the past, WakeMed scored a little better–garnering a “B” grade. But this time–Leapfrog Hospital safety rankings dropped WakeMed to a “C.”

Here’s how the report cards broke down:

Raleigh’s Rex Hospital received an “A” ranking. It’s the 7th consecutive “A” ranking for the facility since Leapfrog started its bi-annual study back in 2016.

It’s one of 36 hospitals in the U.S. that achieved that milestone. 

“What that tells us about those hospitals is that they continue to put patients and patient safety absolutely first,” said Leah Binder who is the President of the Leapfrog group. 

Other hospitals in our area that received an “A” for patient safety include Duke University Hospital, UNC Hospitals, and Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

Each hospital ranking is broken down into various categories like infections/problems with surgery and staff allowing you to customize your search.

WakeMed scored poorly in a number of categories— getting a “C” grade. 

It scoring below average in areas of patient blood infections, urinary tract infections, and surgical site infections after colon surgery. It also scored below average in death from serious, treatable complications resulting from surgery. 

“About 40 percent of hospitals got a C-, D- or F,” said Binder. “That’s really not good enough and we’ll be looking at those hospitals for lots of improvement in the future.” 

In a statement, WakeMed said in part, that a patient safety initiative called Chasing Zero is achieving positive results in “instances of hospital-acquired infections”, medication errors, falls and other safety measures.

WakeMed was also critical of the study saying:

Due to a lag in the data, our Leapfrog grades do not incorporate these improvements and do not accurately represent the quality of care we deliver.”


The Leapfrog study estimates that about 200,000 people a year die from preventable errors in hospitals and says no hospital is perfectly safe—and as a patient you or a relative need to be vigilant about the kind of care you receive.

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