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York Hospital IS a Safe Hospital.

Recently, a report from the Leapfrog Group rated  York Hospital as a C for patient safety.  We felt it was important to respond.  York Hospital does not take safety and quality care lightly.  They are ingrained in everything we do - from bedside care and treatment protocols to housekeeping and environmental controls.  Every minute of every day, safety and quality care are paramount. 

What is the Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Score?
It is a report by a private organization called “The Leapfrog Group” that grades hospitals on their overall performance in patient safety. The grades (A-B-C-D-F) are derived from the Leapfrog Group’s own analysis and weighted scores of both publicly available data, and information that hospitals have self-reported.   What was York Hospital’s score?  York Hospital’s score was 2.9601.  The threshold for a “B” rating was 2.964.  We missed it by less than four thousandths of a point.   

What does the Leapfrog Safety Grade measure?
The Leapfrog survey takes into account many safety measures using publicly reported data on hospital acquired conditions (i.e., errors, accidents and injuries) and self reported data around management structures, internal processes, and use of technology to create a culture of safety.   Many of our scores were already at the highest score possible, including leadership structure, nursing workforce, medication reconciliation, hand hygiene, care of the ventilated patient, and patients receiving the right antibiotic.  Some were improved from the previous ranking period - including a substantial effort internally to get more physicians to use computers for prescribing orders (rather than hand writing, which can be prone to more errors) and improvements in physician staffing in the ICU.   Some scores could not be changed because they were based on Medicare data on hospital acquired conditions which was old (from 2009-2011, and in some cases reflects information that is at least 4 years old).    We know our scores around some of these measures needed attention.  Over the last two years, we have made many improvements in processes and treatment protocols and how we report the data, and this, unfortunately, is not yet reflected.    

Why wasn’t it enough? 
The data is weighted differently for every hospital, and each is an individual case.  While we worked substantially hard on the areas we could affect, it wasn’t enough to raise our rating to the higher tier - even though we ranked better than other area hospitals in many of the measures.  We invite you to look at the data to see for yourselves!  Click here for details.   Again, we ended the period less than four thousandths of a point away from a “B” rating.  

Bottom line - is York a reliable place for care? 
Of course.   Ask the leading experts!  We continually win awards for great care.  In fact recently, York Hospital earned Double Achievement Awards from the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines® Programs - A “Gold” award for Stroke Care and a “Gold Plus” award for Heart Failure Care.  These awards recognize York Hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring that both stroke and heart failure patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines.   Also, York Hospital’s Cancer Care program is one of only approximately 25% of cancer programs around the country to be accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.  We are recognized for voluntarily committing to provide the best in cancer diagnosis and treatment and for complying  with established standards.  We could go we will!  You rate us high too!  A recent report detailing patient satisfaction scores across all US hospitals (via the Hospital Compare (HCAHP) survey data available here) indicates that as of March 2012, York Hospital was listed as one of the top hospitals nationwide - those with the HIGHEST percentage of patients who rated their hospital a nine or 10 on a zero-to-10 scale.   Only 58 hospitals across the country had at least 85% of patients rate their hospital a 9 or 10 and that list includes only ONE Maine hospital - York Hospital!  Thank you!   

There are lots of survey data companies out there, each with their own complicated requirements and decision making processes.  We will concentrate on what is important - giving the best possible care to each and every one of you, every time.   There will be another opportunity to improve our grade in the future and we will continue to aspire for the highest grade possible.    Thank you for continuing to trust your medical care to us.  We know we provide quality care every day, and I am happy to talk with you about this report or about anything you’d like to discuss.   Feel free to contact me at (207) 351-2395 or

Jud Knox, Hospital President

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