FIRST ON CBS7: Two local hospitals receive near-failing grades

MIDLAND-ODESSA, Tx (KOSA) -- UPDATE Two hospitals in Midland-Odessa have been given near-failing grades based on safety and quality.

The non-profit Leapfrog Group gave both Medical Center Hospital in Odessa and Midland Memorial Hospital a ‘D.’

According to the group, that means you're almost twice as likely to accidentally die in their care than you would in a hospital that has an 'A' rating.

Leapfrog bases its ratings on data gathered from about 2,600 hospitals from 2015 through 2017 - taking into account the number of deaths due to errors, accidents, injuries and infections.

MCH scored poorly in two infection categories - as well as leaving dangerous objects in a person's body, having below average communication, and allowing patients to develop bed sores.

MMH had the same problems with infections.

Although, it declined to participate in some categories like issues with handwashing, safely administering medication and whether it had enough qualified nurses.

The group gave Odessa Regional Medical Center a ‘C.’

We reached out to all of the hospitals, which responded with written statements.

Midland Memorial Hospital sent us the following statement:

"Midland Memorial Hospital chooses not to participate in the Leapfrog Group’s reporting platform due to the fact that the methodology they use to score hospitals does not align with our quality processes.

Despite our decision not to voluntarily participate, Midland Memorial Hospital scored better than average in many areas related to quality and patient safety, including: bloodstream and urinary tract infections, C. difficile infections, pressure ulcers, pulmonary embolism and several other outcome measures.

While we do not have access to the details of Leapfrog’s scoring methodology, we believe a few measures lowered our grade:

Falls with injury – This is an area of focus for us. Since these data were reported, we have created a robust fall prevention program to better monitor, report and prevent falls with injury from occurring.

Closed ICU – Leapfrog’s definition of a closed ICU requires a critical care specialist to manage every patient in the ICU. Our medical community does not agree that such a policy is necessary to deliver high quality critical care, and it would be virtually impossible to recruit an adequate number of critical care specialists to our community to accomplish this.

Doctors ordering medication through an Electronic Health Record (EHR) – Leapfrog ranks their scores in this area based on how many alerts an electronic record system has around medication orders. Since the time frame in which this data was captured, we have installed a new EHR that dramatically increase physicians’ use of the EHR.

HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) –A very small subset of our inpatient population completes these lengthy surveys. During the reporting period reflected in this year’s grade, our scores had fallen from previous years’ data, resulting in a significant impact to our overall grade with Leapfrog. Several patient experience initiatives we have begun over the past few years have already resulted in improved scores."

Medical Center Health System sent us this statement:

"Although we are disappointed in our Leapfrog rating, we are mindful of the fact that data used to establish the most recent rating are dated as far back as 2015, and do not reflect Medical Center Hospital’s current performance.

MCH has built a robust and proactive safety culture over the last 18 months. Our current Quality and Patient Safety outcomes are better than they have been in several years, and we are confident that future Leapfrog ratings will reflect that."

This is the statement from Odessa Regional Medical Center President Stacey L. Brown:

"Odessa Regional Medical Center is continually focused on providing quality patient care to the people in the Permian Basin. With the assistance of several key Steward initiatives, we are confident our Leapfrog scores will improve.

One key component is the addition of Rohith Saravanan, MD, MBA as Chief Medical Officer, to lead our focus in safety standards and delivering the highest quality of medical care to our patients. Just as important, we are focused on improving patient engagement. With these two initiatives alone we are already seeing improvements across the organization."

Two local hospitals have been given near-failing grades based on safety and quality.

The non-profit Leapfrog Group gave both Medical Center Hospital in Odessa and Midland Memorial Hospital a ‘D.’

The rankings are based on data gleaned from about 2,600 hospitals since 2016. Leapfrog assigns letter grades - from A to F - to hospitals and is said to be a tougher grader than the federal government, which doesn't give out failing grades.

In the study, Leapfrog estimates the number of deaths due to errors, accidents, injuries and infections at “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” and “F” hospitals.
Overall, it says an estimated 160,000 people die from avoidable medical errors.

It's a significant improvement since 2016, when researchers estimated 205,000 avoidable deaths.

The analysis also found that D and F hospitals carry nearly twice the risk of mortality of A hospitals.

The group gave Odessa Regional Medical Center a ‘C.’