McDowell Hospital Earns “A” for Patient Safety in Fall 2017 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade

MARION, NC (October 31, 2017) – McDowell Hospital has earned the desirable “A” grade for safety from the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization committed to driving quality, safety, and transparency in the  U. S. health care system. It is the fourth consecutive “A” rating for McDowell Hospital. The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit health care ratings organization, today released new Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades. The Safety Grade assigns letter grades of A, B, C, D and F to hospitals nationwide based on their performance in preventing medical errors, infections and other harms. McDowell Hospital was one of 832 awarded an “A” for its commitment to keeping patients safe and meeting the highest safety standards in the U.S.

McDowell Hospital President Carol Wolfenbarger, MSN, RN, FACHE, expressed pride while reinforcing the organization’s deep commitment to patient safety as she commented on the recognition. “The “A” rating from the Leapfrog Group reflects the fact that patient safety is our top concern for every person – let alone patient – who enters our facilities, and we attained this rating through the consistent and conscientious efforts of our stellar clinicians, nurses, and other dedicated hospital staff. They commit to the highest level of hygiene protocol, clear communication with our patients, and mindfulness about preventive measures to eliminate potential dangers, such as patient falls and surgical complications,” she said.

“It takes consistent, unwavering dedication to patients to achieve the highest standards of patient safety. An ‘A’ Safety Grade recognizes hospitals for this accomplishment,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We congratulate the clinicians, Board, management and staff of McDowell Hospital for showing the country what it means to put patient safety first.”

Developed under the guidance of a Blue Ribbon National Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public.

To see McDowell Hospital’s full grade, and to access patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit hospitalsafetygrade.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. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, 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.

 ABOUT MCDOWELL HOSPITAL

McDowell Hospital, a member of Mission Health, is a not-for-profit community hospital serving McDowell County. Located in Marion, N.C., McDowell Hospital is licensed for 65 beds and has more than 400 employees, including 120 RNs. Medical specialties offered include family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, orthopedics, urology, and obstetrics and gynecology. Currently, five of McDowell Hospital’s primary care practices have been recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as Rural Health Clinics. For more information, please visit mcdowellhospital.org.

ABOUT MISSION HEALTH

Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the state’s sixth-largest health system. For the fifth time in the past six years, Mission Health has been named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics, an IBM Company and part of IBM Watson Health in 2017. We are the only health system in North Carolina to achieve this recognition. Mission Health operates six hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, post-acute care provider CarePartners, long-term acute care provider Asheville Specialty Hospital, and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. With approximately 12,000 team members and 2,000 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina. For more information, please visit mission-health.org or @MissionHealthNC.