How safe are the Triangle’s hospitals? Here are the latest scores

Some hospitals in North Carolina received top scores for patient safety while others dropped on the most recent rankings, new results show.

Five medical centers in the Triangle were among the best in the country, according to the bi-annual Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade released Thursday.

Local hospitals earning A grades include:

University of North Carolina Hospitals in Chapel Hill

Duke Regional Hospital in Durham

Duke University Hospital in Durham

UNC Rex Hospital in Raleigh

Duke Raleigh Hospital

Other medical centers fell in the rankings after receiving B scores in the spring, The News & Observer previously reported.

Local hospitals earning C grades include:

WakeMed Cary Hospital

WakeMed Raleigh Campus

The study ranked hospitals in various categories, including prevention measures, hospital personnel and issues with safety and surgery.

WakeMed campuses ranked below average for patients getting various infections, “dangerous” items left in patients’ bodies during surgeries, and other measures, according to Leapfrog.

The health system in an email on Thursday said it’s already getting “positive” results through its Chasing Zero efforts, which aim for no “hospital-acquired infections, medication errors, falls and other safety measures.”

“We will continue building on this good work as we strive to reach even higher for the benefit of the patients and the families we serve,” the email to McClatchy news group said. “Unfortunately, due to a lag in the data, our Leapfrog grades do not incorporate these improvements and do not accurately represent the quality of care we deliver.”

To make its rankings, The Leapfrog Group nonprofit says it analyzes 28 areas related to hospital safety. Grades represent a “hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors,” according to its website.

Leapfrog says the list is a guide and that patients should most consider ratings in the categories of hand washing, blood infections and falls. Hospitals with A grades “do a better job at preventing errors,” experts say.

Rex Hospital is the only one in the state to get only A scores since the rankings started in 2012, according to a news release from UNC Health Care.

Earlier this year, UNC Health Care announced its children’s hospital could continue complex child heart surgeries after The New York Times reported about high death rates at the Chapel Hill facility, The News & Observer previously reported.

Overall, Leapfrog this fall ranked 79 medical centers in North Carolina. The state ranked No. 5 in the country for hospital safety.

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