Bristol Regional, Holston Valley receive exceptional safety scores

Wellmont Health System's two largest hospitals have earned exceptional scores in the latest safety rankings from a national nonprofit organization.

Bristol Regional Medical Center received an "A" and Holston Valley Medical Center received a "B" in the spring Hospital Safety Score ratings from the Leapfrog Group. The two hospitals earned the scores based on an evaluation of 28 measures that cover organizational structure and medical care.

In its evaluation, Leapfrog gave Bristol Regional high marks in many categories. Among the perfect scores the hospital received were its use of antibiotics before surgery and the prevention of blood clots, surgical site infections after colon surgery, air or gas bubbles in patients’ blood and dangerous objects in patients’ bodies. The hospital’s staffing levels for qualified nurses and specially trained ICU physicians, effective leadership and teamwork to prevent errors also earned perfect scores, as did its communication of correct medications, handwashing and steps to prevent ventilator problems.

Holston Valley earned perfect scores for its use of antibiotics before and after surgery, prevention of air bubbles in blood, training for physicians in the intensive care unit, staff teamwork, safety training, communication of correct medications, tracking and reducing risks, handwashing and its steps to prevent ventilator problems. The hospital also earned high-ranking scores for its treatment of collapsed lungs, serious breathing problems, surgical wounds and accidental cuts and wounds, as well as the removal of catheters after surgery, prevention of bed sores and the staffing of qualified nurses.

Leapfrog Hospital Safety Score measures are guided by an eight-member panel, which includes experts from nationally recognized institutions such as Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Harvard University and Stanford University.

Performance measures used for the score came from organizations such as the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Secondary data came from the American Hospital Association's Annual Survey.

For more information, please visit www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.