Parrish Hailed as One of America's Safest Hospitals

Preventable hospital errors lead to the deaths of thousands of Americans annually, but lives are being saved because Parrish Medical Center (PMC) and a growing number of other U.S. hospitals are making patient safety their priority, the leader of one of America’s premier healthcare safety organizations told PMC care partners this month.

Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, a national non-profit organization promoting “giant leaps” in healthcare quality and safety, was in Titusville on Aug. 8 to tour PMC and congratulate its board of directors and staff on being one of only 63 (of 2,600) U.S. hospitals since 2012 to earn the Leapfrog Group’s patient safety ‘A’ grade in every grading period to date.

PMC is the sole central Florida hospital over that same period to achieve straight-A grades from The Leapfrog Group. The Leapfrog Group estimates that preventable hospital errors cost some 1,000 Americans their lives every day.

“People’s lives and health are better protected in hospitals that make safety their priority,” Binder told PMC board members, administration, employees and volunteers gathered in the hospital’s atrium. “To earn four straight ‘A’ grades is evidence, for everyone to see, of Parrish Medical Center’s determination to serve its patients well and safely

.”The average cost of a hospital-acquired surgical site infection is $39,000, demonstrating the financial impact that is also affected by hospital safety, she said.

“Hospital safety can’t be a slogan, an objective, or a desire; it has to be a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute commitment and practice because lives are literally at stake,” said George Mikitarian, PMC president and CEO.

“PMC was honored that Leah Binder would come here personally to tour the hospital, and to meet the care partners responsible for not only setting patient safety as a goal, but achieving it in a manner equaled by few American hospitals,” Mikitarian said.

The Leapfrog Group was formed by employers and other large healthcare purchasers to bring about significant healthcare improvements. The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Survey enables healthcare purchasers to make informed decisions on which hospitals are safest and where they can receive the highest-value care.

The Leapfrog Group assigns A, B, C, D, and F, grades based on a composite of 30 safety measures covering injuries, infections, and errors. Included in the survey are management practices that promote quality and safety; maternity care outcomes; high-risk procedure outcomes; and hospital acquired condition prevalence and medication safety.

A recent national example of the importance of hospital safety was the aftermath of the June 14 shooting in Arlington, Va., of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise. His condition, at first listed as critical, improved to fair until an infection caused him to be readmitted to the intensive care unit. The hospital in which Rep. Scalise was treated had received a ‘D’ grade from The Leapfrog Group.

“PMC is one of America’s safest hospitals,” Mikitarian said. “We’re grateful to Ms. Binder for coming here personally to deliver that message to all PMC care partners.”

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