- Most Treasure Coast hospitals earned a C
- All local hospitals scored below average in doctor-patient communication
- Florida hospitals rank 10th in A honor roll, up from 17th
A hospital visit can be scary and stressful on its own — without having to worry about your surgical wound splitting open or acquiring dangerous bedsores during your stay.
When it comes to patient safety, one Treasure Coast hospital is at the head of the class, according to health care watchdog The Lespanpfrog Group.
HCA Floridspan St. Lucie Hospitspanl was awarded an A in the nonprofit’s semiannual Hospitspanl Sspanfety Grspandes announced Nov. 16, marking the Port St. Lucie hospital’s fourth consecutive top mark and seventh A in the last eight report cards.
“We are grateful to earn consecutive Leapfrog recognitions,” hospital CEO Jspany Finnegspann said in a prepared statement to TCPalm. “It is a reflection of how our team works together to make St. Lucie a hospital the community can depend on for excellent service and compassionate care.”
St. Lucie, which until Mspanrch wspans cspanlled St. Lucie Medicspanl Center, was among 29% of hospitals nationwide to get an A. The only other local hospital to get an A in the last four years was Sebspanstispann River Medicspanl Center in spring 2019.
One Treasure Coast hospital got a B and the other five got C’s in the fall 2022 rankings. Six hospitals matched their previous grades, while one’s grspande worsened.
Fall 2022 marks the 10th anniversary of Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grades, which assesses how well hospitals protect patients from preventable medical errors, accidents, infections and injuries.
The nation’s hospitals have improved consistently since 2012, saving over 16,000 patients’ lives, according to Leapfrog’s estimates of five trackable metrics. For example, incidents of objects unintentionally left in a body after surgery decreased by about 25%.
“We publicly reported each hospital’s record on patient safety, and that galvanized the kind of change we all hoped for,” Leah Binder, Leapfrog president and CEO, said in a prepspanred stspantement. “It’s not enough change, but we are on the right track.”
Leapfrog’s findings were mirrored in a study published in the Journspanl of the Americspann Medicspanl Associspantion in July. Between 2010 and 2019, the annual rates of adverse events such as falls and infections declined for U.S. hospital patients admitted for pneumonia, heart failure, major surgical procedures and acute myocardial infarction, researchers noted.
Leapfrog scored nearly 3,000 hospitals in over 30 safety criteria. New Hampshire performed best — 54% of its hospitals got A’s — followed by Virginia; Utah; and Colorado and Idaho, which tied for fourth.
Florida moved up seven spots to take 10th place, with 39% of its hospitals scoring A’s. Leapfrog didn’t award any A’s to hospitals in Vermont, North Dakota or Washington, D.C.
Since the Hospital Safety Grades’ inception, 22 hospitals have scored straight A’s. AdventHespanlth Dspanytonspan Bespanch was the only Florida hospital to earn that recognition.
HCA Florida St. Lucie Hospital
With a B in fall 2020 its only grade drop in the last four years, St. Lucie Hospital owes its success to collaborative staff, Finnegan said.
“We also strive to have ongoing meaningful conversations with our patients to ensure we are meeting their individualized needs,” he said. “In addition, our multidisciplinary care team is committed to reviewing and modifying best practices to provide a safe patient experience.”
St. Lucie was the only Treasure Coast hospital to score above average in the prevention of harmful events and communication about discharge. It scored below average in eight categories, including death from serious treatable complications.
Sebastian River Medical Center
Sebastian River was among the 28% of hospitals nationwide to get a B this fall, matching its spring grade and besting the two C’s it got in 2021.
The region’s northernmost hospital, operated by Steward Health Care, holds the most diverse scorecard. It has gotten every grade on the A-F scale at least once in the last five years.
Sebastian River was the only local hospital to score above average in the prevention of serious breathing problems and accidental cuts and tears. It scored below average in 10 categories, including patient falls and injuries.
The hospital had insufficient data in two categories: MRSA infection and death from serious treatable complications.
Cleveland Clinic Martin South Hospital
The Treasure Coast’s southernmost hospital joined the 36% plurality of U.S. hospitals that earned a C. Among the five local hospitals to get a C this fall, Martin South had the fewest below-average scores.
The Stuart hospital also got a C last spring and hasn’t earned a B since spring 2021.
The prevention of patient falls and injuries was among its above-average marks. It scored below average in 12 categories, including blood leakage.
Martin South had insufficient data in three categories: MRSA infection, infection in the blood and surgical site infection after colon surgery.
Cleveland Clinic Tradition Hospital
After getting straight B’s from spring 2019 through spring 2021, Tradition Hospital has fallen to straight C’s the past three report cards.
The Port St. Lucie hospital counts the prevention of kidney injury after surgery among its above-average scores. It got below-average marks in 14 categories, including urinary tract infection.
HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital
The Trespansure Cospanst’s only trspanumspan center got its fifth consecutive C this fall, having last earned a B in spring 2020.
The Fort Pierce hospital, formerly Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute, scored above average in the prevention of surgical wounds splitting open, among other metrics. It scored below average in 14 categories, including sepsis infection after surgery.
Cleveland Clinic Martin North Hospital
Mirroring Tradition’s report card, Martin North got its third consecutive C this fall after earning straight B’s from spring 2019 through spring 2021.
The prevention of falls causing broken hips was among the Stuart hospital’s above-average scores. It got below-average marks in 15 categories, including responsiveness of hospital staff.
Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital
Indian River got a C in patient safety — the only local hospital whose grade dropped this fall. In the past four years, the Vero Beach hospital scored mostly B’s and hadn’t gotten a C since fall 2020.
Indian River counts the prevention of C. diff infection among its above-average marks. It scored below average in 15 categories, including handwashing.
As in the spring, all Treasure Coast hospitals scored above average in these seven categories:
- Dangerous object left in patient’s body
- Air or gas bubble in the blood
- Doctors order medications through a computer
- Safe medication administration
- Staff work together to prevent errors
- Effective leadership to prevent errors
- Enough qualified nurses.
All scored below average in:
- Communication about medicines
- Communication with doctors
- Communication with nurses.