Most of the Treasure Coast’s seven hospitals scored a “B” or better for patient safety, with St. Lucie Medical Center getting the region’s only top grade, according to the nonprofit company that surveys the facilities twice a year.
St. Lucie Medical was given an “A” by the Leapfrog Group, which scores the hospitals on 28 safety categories. The center, located at 1800 Southeast Tiffany Lane in Port St. Lucie, had perfect scores for safe medication administration, doctors handling electronic prescriptions and hand washing, Leapfrog’s survey said.
“We are continually looking for ways to elevate our patients’ experience and our overall quality through our hand hygiene policies, emphasis on positive patient engagement and focus on implementing procedures to enhance patient safety,” spokeswoman Tiffany Woods said about St. Lucie Medical as well as Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce.
“Our commitment to meeting the needs of our patients and visitors, providing an explanation of the personalized level of care they can expect in our facilities is what continues to shape our patient focused culture.”
St. Lucie Medical also had no reports of either MRSA — a bacterium that causes staph infections difficult to treat because of resistance to some antibiotics — or dangerous items left in the bodies of surgery patients during the survey period.
Sebastian River Medical Center was the only Treasure Coast hospital to score a “C” in the Leapfrog survey. The facility on U.S. 1 north of Roseland Road rated below average for having specially trained doctors in the intensive care unit, for example. It also had an above average number of patients suffering bed sores and falls.
“Sebastian River Medical Center received an ‘A’ grade last spring, and we will not be satisfied until we continuously receive ‘A’ grades moving forward,” spokeswoman Anya Mayr said. “We are doubling down on our commitment to patient safety and have made some critical adjustments in recent months that are already driving significant performance improvement. We expect to once again achieve an ‘A’ grade in the next Leapfrog report.”
All other Treasure Coast hospitals scored a “B.”
Leapfrog grades more than 2,600 acute-care hospitals across the nation twice annually.
A panel of experts reviews 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data, analyzes the data and determines the weight of each, Leapfrog officials said. Among those measures, Leapfrog recommends people pay close attention to the facilities’ records on hand washing, patient falls and blood infections.
“Not all hospitals prioritize their patients’ safety above all else,” Leapfrog’s website states. “You deserve to know which hospitals do the best at protecting their patients from harm.”
Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital scored above average for patient care categories with a low number of bed sore reports and falls.
“(Indian River) is committed to providing our patients with the highest quality care,” spokeswoman Angela Dickens said.
At the Treasure Coast’s only trauma center, Lawnwood received its “B” based on strong scores for patient care. It had no incidents of patient falls or air bubbles in the blood of patients. Lawnwood also scored perfect for tracking and reducing risk for patients. It scored lower in some items including communication about medicines and discharge; and in some surgery problems, including blood clots.
Also in St. Lucie County, Cleveland Clinic Tradition Hospital in Port St. Lucie earned its “B” with perfect scores for staffing specialized doctors and nurses, as well as effective leadership to prevent errors. It received lower scores in a few areas including for patients with bed sores and who fall and get injured, and for hand washing.
Hospital officials could not be reached for comment.
Further south on the Treasure Coast, Cleveland Clinic Martin North Hospital scored above average for low rates for infections such as MRSA, colon and urinary tracts, but lower in areas including communicating about medicines and discharge.
And at Cleveland Clinic Martin South Hospital, the facility received high scores for hand washing and staffing, but lower scores in some areas including for having patients with bed sores and who fall and get injuries.
“Cleveland Clinic Martin Health works diligently to provide high-quality care at each of our hospitals,” spokesman Scott Samples said. “We are focused as an organization on patient safety and continuously measure quality and safety metrics to identify opportunities to enhance our care.”
Lamaur Stancil, Treasure Coast Newspapers