Medstar hospital's poor safety ratings get limelight as it treats Rep. Steve Scalise

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., is back in the intensive care unit at District of Columbia-based Medstar Washington Hospital Center nearly a month after he was shot, and the high-profile hospitalization is prompting greater awareness of the hospital's low safety ratings, reports USA Today.

A gunman shot Mr. Scalise, two Capitol Police officers, a congressional aide and a lobbyist during a June 14 practice for a congressional baseball game. Emergency responders airlifted Mr. Scalise to Washington Hospital Center, which houses a Level 1 trauma center.

Mr. Scalise underwent several surgeries last month, and his condition improved from critical to fair. However, hospital officials on Wednesday said he was moved back to the ICU. Mr. Scalise had another surgery Thursday to manage infection and is now in serious condition, according to the report.

Soon after his rehospitalization, attention shifted toward Washington Hospital Center's publicly available grades for patient safety and care quality. The Leapfrog Group gave Washington Hospital Center a D in hospital safety ratings for 2016, and CMS' Hospital Compare website shows the hospital earned 2 out of 5 stars in the most recent update.

"[I]nfections [at the hospital] are a pattern and a serious one," Leapfrog Group CEO Leah Binder told USA Today. "They are significantly below the national average in four out of five areas that we have data, which suggests an inability to prevent infections."

Washington Hospital Center spokeswoman So Young Pak told USA Today: "We are a recognized leader in embracing transparency, and we continuously use our outcomes data to learn, improve and optimize the care we provide to 40,000 inpatients every year."

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