University earns top grade for safety from hospital rankings organization

University Hospital is again the only Augusta hospital with a top grade for safety from the Leapfrog Group in its biannual rankings.

University received an A grade in the Spring 2017 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, one of only 13 hospitals in Georgia to earn a top grade from Leapfrog, which looked at 30 different measures on patient safety. Doctors Hospital of Augusta received a C grade from Leapfrog for the third consecutive ranking and AU Medical Center received a D grade for the second time in a row. Trinity Hospital of Augusta, which University is working to acquire, does not submit data to Leapfrog and was not included in its list.

Leapfrog was founded by large employers and other large purchases of health care as a national non-profit that seeks to drive improvements in patient safety and quality of care through things like its hospital survey and the grading system.

Stretching back to spring 2014, University has received an A grade every time and is one of only two hospitals in Georgia to achieve that, along with Gordon Hospital in Calhoun. University scored better than the national average of 20 out of 30 measures, including a top score on eight process measures, such as computerized entry of physician orders, leadership structure and identifying and fixing risks and hazards.

“That’s all good news for us,” said University CEO Jim Davis. “A lot of that stems from a culture here that quite frankly starts at our board level. We wouldn’t have that physician order entry grade if it were not for the fact that we have Epic (health information system) and that people are expected to use Epic because we believe that is the best thing for patients.”

Epic, for instance, requires physicians to follow best practices or be forced to take extra steps to do something else but the physicians at University and employees have all worked together to help improve the systems as well, he said. The board has shown it is willing to…

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