Eighteen Miami-Dade and Broward hospitals — including four in the Baptist health system — have received A rankings for patient safety from the Leapfrog Group, a national healthcare watchdog.
At the bottom were Jackson Health System, the University of Miami Hospital and Larkin Community Hospital, all of which received “score pending” listings. A Leapfrog spokeswoman said that meant the facilities would have received a D or F but were granted a “grace period” to see if they could improve their safety scores.
Leapfrog was started 14 years ago by a group of the nation’s largest employers dedicated to improving healthcare quality while controlling costs. Its Hospital Safety Score includes 26 measures combining information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and a Leapfrog Hospital Survey. The Leapfrog data includes rates of deaths of surgical patients, bed sores, patient falls and nursing staffing levels. It was developed with advice from a panel that included three professors from Harvard, plus faculty from Johns Hopkins, the University of California, Stanford and Michigan.
Of the more than 2,600 hospitals graded by Leapfrog, 729 scored an A, 679 a B and 1,242 a C or below.
Brian Keeley, chief executive of Baptist Health South Florida, was enthusiastic about “an excellent independent verification of the quality of care.”
Kevin Andrews, Jackson’s vice president of quality and patient safety, said Jackson does not participate in the Leapfrog surveys and some of the government measures that Leapfrog uses are more than a year old, meaning they don’t take into account recent strides Jackson has made to improve quality of care.
Andrews said many hospital administrators are complaining about the Leapfrog grading. “People are really lashing out about this.”
Larkin spokeswoman Sandy Sosa-Guerrero said, “We are working with Leapfrog to make sure they have all the data that they need.” She said Larkin would comply with a June 30 deadline for submission.
A University of Miami spokeswoman said the university had no comment.
Bernd Wollschlaeger, a doctor who is the former president of the Dade County Medical Association, called the Leapfrog grading an important step as “we are moving toward patient-centered care. Hospitals and physicians need to adjust their care accordingly.”
Linda Quick, president of the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association, said Monday that such report cards, while helpful, “should not be the single deciding factor in selecting an institution.” She said additional quality measures are available through the federal government (at hospitalcompare.hhs.gov) and through the state (at floridahealthfinder.gov).
Quick also said patients should pay attention to the recommendations of doctors, friends and family.
Hospitals in Miami-Dade that received A grades included Baptist, Doctors, Hialeah, Homestead, Kendall Regional, Metropolitan, North Shore, Palmetto General and South Miami. In Broward, the A facilities are Cleveland Clinic, Holy Cross, Imperial Point, Memorial Miramar, Memorial Regional, Memorial West, Northwest Medical, University and Westside.
Hospitals receiving Bs were Aventura, Broward Health Medical Center (the former Broward General), Coral Springs, Mercy and North Broward.
Those getting a C were Coral Gables, Mount Sinai, Memorial Pembroke, Palm Springs General, Plantation General and Westchester.
Mount Sinai spokeswoman Joanna Palmer said, “We are proud of our exceptional and proven quality outcomes. We do not voluntarily participate in the Leapfrog program, and we do not believe our Leapfrog grade reflects the outstanding care we provide our patients.”
The full Leapfrog report can be found at hospitalsafetyscore.org .