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West Florida Healthcare Reaches Two Milestones for Patient Safety in Leapfrog’s Fall 2016 Hospital Safety Grade

West Florida Hospital October 31, 2016

Pensacola, FL - An announcement released nationally by the independent hospital watchdog The Leapfrog Group indicates that hospital safety breakdowns, including patient injuries, accidents and infections, kill more than 200,000 Americans each year, making these errors the third leading cause of death in the U.S. But not all hospitals are alike. A national, independent nonprofit, The Leapfrog Group today announced its Fall 2016 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade (formerly known as the Hospital Safety Score), a program which assigns A, B, C, D and F letter grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals bi-annually and is the gold standard measure of patient safety in the United States. Of the 2,633 hospitals evaluated, 844 earned an “A,” 658 earned a “B,” 954 earned a “C,” 157 earned a “D” and 20 earned an “F.”

West Florida Healthcare is proud to be the only hospital in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties to have earned an “A” in this elite national ratings program, recognizing their strong commitment to patient safety. To make this accomplishment even more impressive, this is the third consecutive time that West Florida Healthcare has earned an “A” rating, the only area hospital to have done so. As further evidence of their commitment to patient safety and quality care, West Florida Healthcare is also the only hospital in the area to have earned the “100 Top Hospitals in the Nation” by Truven Health Analytics for two years in a row.

To receive this “A” grade, West Florida Healthcare has remained focused on transforming the health care experience. The vision is for highly-competent professionals to work in a collaborative environment to provide patient and family-centered care using evidence-based clinical practice standards. This collaborative team of nurses, physicians, support staff, and volunteers are all committed to the patient and family-centered model of care which has resulted in consistently high patient experience scores. In addition, the West Florida Hospital culture of safety and safe practice is embedded throughout the entire organization.

Another important differentiator is the professional development support that West Florida Hospital provides for their nurses. For example, they have created a nursing structure which includes Shared Governance, a model that features unit-based and facility clinical practice councils. Examples of these councils include: the nurse quality council, the nurse executive council, the fall prevention committee, the nursing patient satisfaction committee, and the nursing peer review committee, all of which meet on a regular basis to discuss how to improve patient quality and patient satisfaction. By creating multidisciplinary teams, West Florida Healthcare has dedicated itself to serving as the quality leader in Northwest Florida by supporting the use of valid, reliable data to assure the delivery of optimal patient care to reduce medical errors. These multidisciplinary teams of physicians, nurses, clinicians, educators, and support staff who follow evidence-based care practices, process improvement techniques, and systems are able to enhance the patient’s quality of care.

“Receiving an “A” on hospital safety is a reflection of our dedication to providing evidence-based medicine that reduces variation in our delivery of care,” said Christopher Dorvault, M.D., Chief of Staff, West Florida Healthcare. “Empowering our clinical staff to have a voice in the design of our processes in a collaborative way has a direct impact on our operations, clinical practice, patient care outcomes, and patient experience.”

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. A full description of the data and methodology used in determining grades is available online at http://www.hospitalsafetygrade.org. Visitors to the website can also find videos, tips for patients and a Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade mobile app for IOS and Android devices. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is designed to give consumers information they can use to protect themselves and their families when facing a hospital stay. Patients can also review their hospital’s past safety performance alongside its current grade on the Hospital Safety Grade site, allowing them to determine which local hospitals have the best track record in patient safety and which have demonstrated consistent improvement.

“As a 100 Top Hospital in the Nation, receiving an “A” rating, particularly for three times in a row, is a reflection of the countless hours that our dedicated nurses, employees, physicians and volunteers spend improving our quality which results in better outcomes for our patients,” said Brian Baumgardner, president and CEO of West Florida Healthcare. “From creating processes that have led to the area’s shortest ER wait times and door-to-balloon times that beat the national average, to our focus on improving surgical outcomes and reducing infection, our team is leading the way in improving quality care for our community.”

“Our entire community can be proud of West Florida Healthcare’s “A” rating in patient safety by Leapfrog,” said Jim Cronley, Chairman of West Florida Healthcare’s Board of Trustees. “This “A” rating is a powerful reminder of West Florida Healthcare’s commitment to putting patient safety above all else.”

To see West Florida Healthcare’s full score, and to access consumer-friendly tips for patients and loved ones visiting the hospital, visit www.hospitalsafetygrade.org.

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