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Greenwood Leflore Hospital given "D" Safety Rating in national study

Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 6:00 pm News Flash Archive

Early this morning, the Leapfrog Group, a nation-wide non-profit healthcare safety and patient advocacy group, issued its Spring 2019 hospital safety ratings. The report is being covered by leading national media outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, New York Newsday, and many television network affiliates, including WTVA in Tupelo.

Greenwood Leflore Hospital received a "D" grade in the report.

The report is based on publicly available data from CMMS, the federal agency that administers Medicare and Medicaid, as well as upon hospital surveys in which data is collected from the hospital administrators of each hospital rated.

Based on 28 different measures, the report attempts to provide an overall measure of patient safety. According to Leapfrog, patients treated in hospitals rated "D" or "F" are twice as likely to succumb to "avoidable deaths" as those treated in higher-rated hospitals.

Some of the lower rated hospitals nation-wide claim that recent improvements they have instituted are not yet reflected in the data analyzed by Leapfrog, which could be a year or two old.

In Mississippi, 9 hospitals gained an "A" rating, 12 a "B" rating, and 9 a "C" rating.

GLH joined 4 other Mississippi hospitals to receive a "D" rating. The others are Rush Foundation Hospital (Meridian), Merit Health (Brandon), Merit Health (Jackson), and Merit Health (Vicksburg).

There were no "F" grades among the 35 hospitals rated in Mississippi by Leapfrog.

Local Hospitals received the following grades:
A - Bolivar Medical Center (Cleveland)
B - NW MS Medical Center (Clarksdale)
B - Baptist Memorial (Oxford)
C - UMMC Grenada
C - DRMC (Greenville)
D - GLH (Greenwood)

According to the safety report, GLH scored below average in a number of critical areas, including:

  • high MRSA and blood infections
  • blood clots and breathing problems post surgery
  • failure to use computer system to order drugs
  • lack of hand washing
  • failure of the staff to work together to prevent errors
  • dangerous bed sores
  • lack of specially trained doctors to manage ICU patients
  • communication with nurses
  • responsiveness by staff to patient concerns
  • too few qualified nurses
  • lack of effective leadership to prevent errors

GLH received higher than average marks in the following areas:

  • control of C-diff, urinary tract infection, and colon surgery site infections
  • dangerous objects left in patient
  • collapsed lung
  • surgical wound splits open
  • death from serious treatable complications
  • accidental cuts and tears
  • safe medication administration
  • communication about medications
  • patient falls and injuries
  • air bubbles in the blood
  • patient communication with doctors

A chronic shortage of nursing staff seems to be at the root of many of the safety problems at GLH. The hospital pays nurses below average, and therefore has difficulty recruiting sufficient staffing. It also has a high attrition rate of nurses leaving for better paying jobs in other Mississippi health care facilities.

Leapfrog has overwritten the Spring 2019 report and it is no longer available. The entire study results for GLH may be viewed here: GLH Hospital Safety Results, Spring 2019

For complete coverage of these and other hospital milestones, please go here: Taxpayers Channel coverage of Greenwood Leflore Hospital's downfall.

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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