South Carolina hospital CEO says Leapfrog is 'increasingly irrelevant,' disputes failing safety grade

The Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg, S.C., was one of 16 hospitals to receive a failing grade from the Leapfrog Group in its Fall 2020 Safety Grades. The hospital's interim CEO Kirk Wilson says ratings from the Leapfrog Group are becoming "increasingly irrelevant," according to The Times and Democrat

The nonprofit Leapfrog Group releases hospital safety grades every fall and spring. The ratings are based on up to 27 quality measures, ranging from hand hygiene adherence to surgical site infection rates. 

Of the more than 2,600 hospitals graded, less than 1 percent earned an "F" in the most recent ratings. The Regional Medical Center was one of those hospitals. The fall 2020 results show that the hospital performed below average on 19 patient-safety measures, according to the report.

Mr. Wilson says the safety grade from Leapfrog is not the best indicator of care provided at the RMC. 

"What matters to us is how the patients feel about us and how insurance companies see us and how CMS sees us," Mr. Wilson told The Times and Democrat. "That is what is important to our doctors and our patients." 

Mr. Wilson said many times grades from Leapfrog are based on whether a hospital participates in the survey. "It is a very political organization and frankly not worth our time to work with," he told The Times and Democrat

The Leapfrog Group President and CEO Leah Binder disputes Mr. Wilson's claims. 

"It's human nature when you get a bad grade to say there's something wrong with the graders," she said in a statement to The Times and Democrat. "But the fact is the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is the gold standard for rating hospital safety.

"Regional Medical Center will have much more success improving their own patient care than trying to pick apart Leapfrog — the nation’s most tested, validated and transparent hospital ratings system."

Read the full article from The Times and Democrat here

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