Hospital patient safety study reveals good news for NC overall, bad news for WakeMed

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A new study released Thursday morning finds North Carolina has some of the best hospitals in the country when it comes to patient care — but WakeMed is an exception.

This is all according to “Leapfrog’s Fall 2019 Hospital Safety Grades” study. The state came in at fifth overall with 47% of hospitals across the state receiving an “A” grade.

Here’s how some of the larger hospital systems in our area fared:
Duke University Hospital – A
Rex Hospital – A
UNC Hospitals – A
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center – A

Both WakeMed Raleigh and WakeMed Cary received a grade of “C,” according to the study. A “C” grade is tied for the lowest score among hospitals in North Carolina. There were 19 hospitals in the state that received that grade.

Leapfrog’s study is only focused on patient safety, such as preventable errors, accidents, injuries and infections.

The study shows that both campuses are below average when it comes to patients C. diff infections, blood infections, urinary tract infections, and surgical site infections after colon surgery.

WakeMed Cary performed below average when it came to patients getting MRSA infections and both campuses were below average in the categories of dangerous objects left in patient’s body, surgical wound splits open, serious breathing problem, and dangerous blood clot. The Raleigh campus was also below average in the death from serious treatable complications category.

UNC Health Care released a statement on the grades:

We’re proud of the safe care that our co-workers and physicians provide every day to patients from across North Carolina. We know that patients and their families look to national ratings organizations like Leapfrog when they make decisions about where their loved ones will receive care. We appreciate Leapfrog for recognizing our hospitals.”

Dr. Wesley Burks, CEO of UNC Health Care

According to UNC Health Care, UNC REX “is the only hospital in North Carolina – and one of only 36 hospitals nationwide – to receive straight As since Leapfrog began grading hospitals for safety in 2012.”

WakeMed responded to a request for comment from CBS 17 with the following statement:

We have a great opportunity to continue building on the improvements we have made over the past year. Our Chasing Zero efforts and recent initiatives to reduce CAUTIs, CLABSIs and C. diff are helping us move in the right direction and – most importantly – improving outcomes for our patients. 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.”

Dr. Karen Chilton, WakeMed’s interim Chief Quality Officer

To read the full study for all the hospitals in our state and across central North Carolina, click here.

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