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Fall 2021 safety grades are in: How does your hospital measure up?

The safety scores are in for three hospitals in the region
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 12:19 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The hospital safety scores are in for three Cape Fear area hospitals from a national watchdog organization.

Each hospital is given a letter grade that corresponds with how well they prevent medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections.

Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center and New Hanover Regional Medical Center both received “A” grades and Columbus Regional Medical Center was given a “C.”

According to the Leapfrog report, 32 percent of hospitals received an “A,” 26% received a “B,” 35% received a “C,” 7% received a “D,” and less than 1% received an “F”. The five states with the highest percentages of “A” hospitals are Virginia, North Carolina, Idaho, Massachusetts, and Colorado.

New Hanover Regional Medical Center

In 2021, NHRMC improved to an “A” after four previous reports scored them at a “B.” The last time it received an “A” was fall of 2018.

The Wilmington-based hospital had lower than average rates of surgical site infections and sepsis after surgery and no instances of dangerous objects left in the body. The hospital did have poor marks for MRSA infections, C. Diff infections and infections of the urinary tract.

It also received high scores for its practices for preventing errors, like using a computer to order medications, bar coding technology to administer drugs, and handwashing practices.

NHRMC also garnered the best possible score for effective leadership to prevent errors, having enough qualified nurses and communication. However, the hospital came in just below average in terms of patient’s feedback regarding the responsiveness of the staff.

Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center

Novant was given another “A” in the report, keeping up the trend of garnering top grades in each report since 2018.

Statistics for many infections were unavailable, but Novant came in on top in terms of low rates of C. Diff infections, surgical site infections and sepsis.

The hospital also saw low rates of patient falls and dangerous bed sores.

In terms of having practices in place to prevent errors, Novant has a computerized barcode system for ordering and administering medications, however, patients reported that staff could improve the way they communicate the purpose of new medicines and what side effects they might cause.

Novant Brunswick also was given perfect scores for their effective leadership, and having enough qualified nurses.

Columbus Regional Medical Center

The fall 2021 report is the fourth time Columbus Regional has been graded “C.” They were scored a “B” in Spring 2019 and an “A” twice in 2018.

Columbus Regional came in close to average in terms of how many infections and problems with surgery, however they came in slightly higher than most hospitals on rates of bed sores, patient falls, and dangerous blood clots.

The hospital had a perfect score for their computerized method of ordering and administering drugs, but patients reported staff could improve the way they communicate about new medicines, side effects, and handle patient responsibilities after discharge.

Columbus Regional saw another perfect score for effective leadership and having enough qualified nurses but fell short in the ICU department, seeing the lowest score possible for not having specially trained doctors care for ICU patients.

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