Several Central Massachusetts and MetroWest hospitals received high safety ratings in semiannual scores from the Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog nonprofit.
Of the 11 regional hospitals included in the rankings, seven received an "A" score, two got a "B" and two got a "C." Leapfrog ratings are issued biannually, in the spring and the fall.
The hospitals that received an "A" were Milford Regional Medical Center in Milford, UMass Memorial - Marlborough Hospital in Marlborough, Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Harrington Hospital in Southbridge, Heywood Hospital in Gardner, Emerson Hospital in Concord and UMass Memorial - HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster. MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham and Natick received a "B." UMass Memorial Medical Center - University Campus and UMass Memorial Memorial Medical Center - Memorial Campus, both in Worcester, received "C" grades.
Leapfrog assigns grades A-F to acute care hospitals that have sufficiently-available public data based on 30 patient safety measures, including 15 "process measures" and 15 "outcome measures." If a hospital is missing either nine out of 15 process measures, or five out of 15 of the outcome measures, it doesn't receive a grade, according to a spokesperson.
Some hospitals, including critical access hospitals, long-term care and rehabilitation facilities and mental health facilities don't have enough publicly-available data to be included, according to Leapfrog. Athol Hospital in Athol, Clinton Hospital in Clinton and Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer were not scored. About 2,500 U.S. hospitals were included in this cycle.
The spring 2016 rankings now include new communications-related patient experience measures that have what Leapfrog said is a proven link to improved safety outcomes, including communication about discharges and medicine. The scores also include MRSA Bacteremia and C.difficile as infection measures for the first time.For the spring scores, Leapfrog removed five surgical care improvement project measures, saying hospitals have topped these measures out.
Other score measures include hand hygiene, identification and mitigation of risks and hazards, and intensive care unit physician staffing."