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Baystate Franklin earns another ‘A’ for safety

GREENFIELD — Baystate Franklin Medical Center continues to score an “A” for safety from the Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit organization that measures hospitals’ safety and quality of care.

Leapfrog, which has conducted hospital safety surveys for a decade, began publishing safety scores in spring 2012 on its new website, www.hospitalsafetyscore.org. Baystate Franklin has consistently received the highest grade possible in the four rounds of scores that have been released.

“The A grade from Leapfrog is a testament to the consistent commitment of the entire Baystate Franklin staff to ensure the safety of our patients,” said Gina Campbell, the hospital’s chief operating officer, in a prepared statement.

“We have also met the mark for making critical safety information available to consumers through our participation in national performance measurement and public reporting programs,” said Campbell.

The Leapfrog scores are calculated using 28 different measures of publicly available hospital data. Two new measures have been added since the last round of scores: catheter-associated urinary tract infections and colon surgical site infections.

Out of the 2,539 general hospitals issued a score across the country, 32 percent earned an “A” and 26 percent scored a “B” — compared to 30 percent and 26 percent, respectively, last year.

But while some hospitals are improving their rankings, Leapfrog officials say it’s not happening fast enough across the board. About 440,000 Americans die each year from “preventable hospital errors,” they said.

“We are burying a population the size of Miami every year from medical errors that can be prevented,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog, in a prepared statement.

“During this time of rapid health care transformation, it’s vital that we work together to arm patients with the information they need and tell doctors and hospitals that the time for change is now,” she said.

Good scores at neighboring hospitals

Baystate Medical Center in Springfield and Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton both maintained their “A” grades.

Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, which earned a “B” the first round and fell to a “C” last year, has now improved to an “A” score.

Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield also scored an “A.”

Three others earned “B” scores: Holyoke Medical Center, Heywood Hospital in Gardner and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital in Brattleboro, Vt.

You can reach Chris Shores at:
cshores@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

An updated version of this article has been posted.

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