Watauga Medical Center Earns ‘A’ Grade for Patient Safety in April Hospital Safety Score

Published Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at 4:37 pm

New Hospital Safety Scores, which assign A, B, C, D and F letter grades to hospitals nationwide and provide the most complete picture of patient safety in the U.S. health care system, were announced today by The Leapfrog Group, a national patient safety watchdog. Watauga Medical Center was one of 798 hospitals to receive an A, ranking among the safest hospitals in the United States.

Richard Sparks, the President and CEO of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System commented by saying, “we are extremely pleased to be recognized among the top hospitals in the United States for patient safety. This recognition is the result of the excellent work of so many people in our organization. Receiving an “A” grade really speaks to the quality-of-care provided at Watauga Medical Center.”

“Avoidable deaths in hospitals should be the number one concern of our health care leaders. Hospitals that earn an ‘A’ from Leapfrog are leaders in saving lives, and we commend them and urge their continued vigilance,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group.

Watauga Medical Center

Developed under the guidance of Leapfrog’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel; the Hospital Safety Score uses 30 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals twice per year. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. For the first time, the Hospital Safety Score includes five measures of patient-reported experience with the hospital as well as two of the most common infections, C.diff and MRSA. To see Watauga Medical Center’s full score, and to access consumer-friendly tips for patients and loved ones visiting the hospital, visit www.hospitalsafetyscore.org or follow The Hospital Safety Score on Twitter or Facebook. Consumers can also download the free Hospital Safety Score mobile app for Apple and Android devices.

About Watauga Medical Center

Watauga Medical Center is a 117-bed regional referral medical complex, offering both primary and secondary acute and specialty care. The Medical Center maintains certification by The Joint Commission and also serves the region as a Joint Commission accredited Primary Stroke Center. On the campus of Watauga Medical Center is The Seby B. Jones Cancer Center and The Cardiology Center of ARHS. Watauga Medical Center is part of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) which also has Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital in Linville and Blowing Rock Rehabilitation & Davant Extended Care Center. The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge, slated to open in the summer of 2016, is a 112-bed Post Acute Care facility located in Blowing Rock. The Foley Center will replace Blowing Rock Rehabilitation & Davant Extended Care Center. Appalachian Regional Medical Associates, also part of ARHS, manages several primary and specialty care physician practices in Watauga, Avery and Ashe Counties.

For more information about Watauga Medical Center, visit www.apprhs.org.

About The Leapfrog Group

Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. Hospital Safety Score, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

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