Dallas-Area Hospital Safety Scores Improve

This is a follow-up to a post from late last year about hospital safety in the Dallas area.

The good news is that some hospitals are improving their safety scores, according to an article in the Dallas Morning News. The bad news is that there is considerable room for more improvement. Here are excerpts from the article:

Parkland Memorial Hospital and Doctors Hospital of White Rock Lake raised their scores to an A in the latest patient safety assessment compiled by the nation’s largest self-insured employers.

Three other area hospitals also improved their scores. Baylor Medical Center at Carrollton went from a C last fall to an A in this month’s ratings. Baylor Medical Center at Garland went from a B to an A. Methodist Dallas Medical Center moved up from a D to a C.

A year ago, Parkland got a C rating from the Leapfrog Group. Parkland’s score improved to a B in November.

Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake had one of the most dramatic turnarounds in the nation. Last fall, Doctors Hospital was one of four in the region that got a D — a rating Leapfrog Group evaluators have termed “a very strong statement of frank disapproval of the safety capacity of a particular hospital.”

The fall ratings were the first where the group issued grades of D and F. The ratings follow widely known school grades so consumers can readily grasp how a facility is doing on safety. The Washington-based Leapfrog Group encourages patients to discuss lower-rated facilities with their doctors.

The group, which includes among its members the Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health, evaluates hospitals based on data the hospitals file with the federal government as part of its treatment of Medicare patients. Leapfrog also asks hospitals to complete a questionnaire focused on information technology and employee education.

No hospital in the Dallas-Fort Worth area got an F this time, and only one D was issued — to Texas Hospital of Advanced Medicine in Dallas, now known as Dallas Medical Center. The 155-bed hospital, which also got a D rating last fall, was sold in September to Prime Healthcare Services of Ontario, Calif.

Of 41 hospitals rated in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, 22 received an A, 12 got a B and six received a C.

Medical Center of Plano was the only area hospital to receive a lower score this time. It moved from a B to a C.

Leapfrog evaluators did not have enough data this time to score Zale Lipshy or St. Paul, Dallas hospitals affiliated with UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The ratings are available at hospitalsafetyscore.org.

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