The Washington Times-Herald

November 30, 2012

DCH refutes website rating

By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — Daviess Community Hospital is fighting back Thursday after a consumer website gave the hospital an F grade.

In a statement, the hospital questioned the data used after a website called Hospital Safety Score gave the hospital an F on its site. The site is run by LeapFrog Group, a nonprofit hospital advocacy group.

The radio station WWBL-FM broadcasted a report from the website Thursday morning from a press release sent from the group.

Daviess Community was one of 25 hospitals in the country that failed LeapFrog’s grade scale, while 790 of the 2,618 hospitals earned an A grade. DCH noted in their statement that UCLA Medical Center received an F, and the Cleveland Clinic received a D.

The report says DCH did poorly with patients complaining of bedsores and not using a computerized physician order entry system.

According to Missy Danforth, Senior Director for Hospital Ratings with LeapFrog, the hospital’s scores on bedsores and patients receiving antibiotics after surgery really earned them the failing grade.

“Three measures are drastically below the national averages,” Danforth said. “Another problem is the hospital did not report the data.”

DCH Chief Executive Director David M. Bixler said in a statement they “respect the LeapFrog Group’s efforts and take their review very seriously.”

“Unfortunately, the scores from their most recent report are based on dated data and do not reflect our more recent quality efforts and successes,” he said.

According to LeapFrog’s records, most of their numbers come from data provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a government agency. Metrics also come from the American Hospital Association.

Based on the LeapFrog website, the CMS data that provided the bedsore information was from July 2009 to June 2011. Danforth said that is the most recent information available.

Bixler said in his statement the data did not show recent efforts already made by the hospital to wound care and better coordination between doctors and nurses.

“There are several successes that highlight the hospital’s focus on patient safety and clinical excellence that have been implemented after the LeapFrog reporting period,” Bixler said.

The AHA data that judged the computer order system was from 2009.

 DCH had implemented its computer system two years later and is now fully operational in its hospital and clinics.

Bixler said although the hospital disagrees with its grade, they will use the data to make the hospital better.  He added that since joining the hospital in September, he has been impressed with the levels of quality and safety.

“The community and our patients can take pride in what our employees and physicians do, every day, to ensure a safe environment of care for every patient, every time,” Bixler said.

Also rated on the company’s site was Good Samaritan Hospital and Jasper Memorial Hospital. Good Samaritan received an A grade while Memorial received a C grade. Both hospitals did not complete a LeapFrog study.

The results are on the web at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.