Virginia among top states in new national hospital patient safety ranking

vhha Virginia Hospital & Healthcare AssociationVirginia is a top three state in the Fall 2018 Hospital Safety Grade scores from the Leapfrog Group. The state rankings reflect the number of “A” graded hospitals in a given state. In all, 34 Virginia hospitals received “A” grades from Leapfrog, a national health care patient safety ranking organization. The latest Leapfrog results, which show Virginia moving up from number five to number three on the list, are a positive reflection of the ongoing work being done at Virginia’s community hospitals and health systems to enhance health care quality, safety, and service for patients.

“Virginia’s third place ranking is a testament to the commitment by Virginia hospitals and health systems to prioritize health care quality and patient safety,” said Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton. “The Fall 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades’ recognition of 34 hospitals as ‘A’ rated providers demonstrates that while our hospitals will always work to be better, their daily efforts to deliver higher quality care to patients are producing positive results.”

Health care quality and patient safety improvement is a strategic priority for VHHA and its member hospitals and health systems in the Commonwealth. VHHA’s Center for Healthcare Excellence serves as a facilitator for collaborative efforts on a wide range of quality and safety improvement initiatives focused on enhancing patient experience, and reducing harm as part of the broader goal of making Virginia the healthiest state in the nation. The Center for Healthcare Excellence was launched in January 2015 under the guidance of the VHHA Board of Directors.

Since then, the Center has taken a leading role in engaging with the Hospital Improvement Innovation Networks (HIIN) program in Virginia. Earlier this year, VHHA was named the recipient of the “2018 HRET HIIN Quality Award” presented by the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Health Research & Education Trust (HRET). The award recognizes a state hospital association for demonstrating exemplary dedication and leadership in advancing the quality and safety of health care for patients. VHHA’s HIIN work builds on momentum from the predecessor Hospital Engagement Networks (HEN)
initiative that in its second phase resulted in the prevention of 1,851 patient harm incidents at 35 participating hospitals (equivalent to more than $16.5 million in health care costs savings) across the Commonwealth. And last year, Virginia was ranked among the top 10 states in an assessment of health care quality based on the annual National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR) released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Also last year, VHHA released its Patient and Family Experience tools to support hospitals and clinical staff in an effort to make patients and their families feel welcome and comfortable as partners in the care and treatment process. These tools, which can be accessed through the Patient and Family Experience page on the website, include the new Patient and Family Experience Improvement Guide and the Virginia Hospital Patient Experience Data Dashboard.

In addition to pursuing organizational improvement, Virginia’s hospitals have also demonstrated a commitment to transparency by making the Quality and Patient Safety Scorecards tool publicly available online through VHHA’s website. The scorecards measure quality and patient safety performance in Virginia’s hospitals on metrics including health care-associated infections, patient safety, hospital readmission rates, mortality data, patient satisfaction, and the efficiency of Medicare spending per beneficiary.

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