Submitted by Tina Rockhold
Mercy Hospital Fort Scott Receives an “A” for Patient Safety
Mercy Hospital Fort Scott has earned The Leapfrog Group’s prestigious “A” rating for its commitment to reducing errors, infections and accidents that can harm patients.
According to the announcement from The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization committed to driving quality, safety and transparency in the U.S. health care system, Mercy Hospital Fort Scott earned top marks nationally with the “A” rating for Patient Safety in spring 2017. Hospital Safety Grades assigns A, B, C, D and F letter grades to hospitals nationwide.
“This honor reflects our dedication and commitment to providing quality care to our patients in the safest way possible,” said Brenda Stokes, RN and Mercy Executive Director Quality Assurance/ Risk/ HIM. “Our ‘A’ rating affirms the emphasis we put on ensuring our community has access to the best healthcare possible. Our physicians, clinical staff and support staff strive to deliver safe, quality, evidence-based care to every patient, every time.”
Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group explained, “Hospitals that earn top marks nationally in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, have achieved the highest safety standards in the country. That takes commitment from every member of the hospital staff, who all deserve thanks and congratulations when their hospitals achieve an ‘A’ Safety Grade.”
Developed under the guidance of an expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 30 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public.
To see Mercy Hospital Fort Scott’s full grade, and to access consumer-friendly patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit www.hospitalsafetygrade.org.
About The Leapfrog Group
Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents and infections.
Drug Take-Back Program
On April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., local law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications to the parking lot of Mercy Convenient Care at 1624 S. National for free, anonymous, “no questions asked” disposal.
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is made possible through the partnership of Bourbon County Sherriff’s Department, the Fort Scott Police Department and Mercy Hospital Pharmacy.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
March of Dimes Recognizes Mercy Hospital Fort Scott
Most moms-to-be are aware that the steps to having a healthy baby begin long before birth, but many may not understand the negative health impact of delivering a child prior to 39 weeks without medical reason.
“The last weeks of pregnancy are important,” said Paul E. Jarris, MD, MBA, March of Dimes Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “Babies aren’t just putting on weight. They are undergoing important development of the brain, lungs and other vital organs.”
Even babies born just a few weeks early have higher rates of hospitalization and illness than full-term infants, the March of Dimes says. Although the overall threat is small, the risk of death more than doubles for infants born at 37 weeks of pregnancy when compared to babies born at 40 weeks, for all races and ethnicities. Babies who survive an early birth often face lifelong health challenges, such as breathing problems, cerebral palsy and learning disabilities.
As part of the March of Dimes campaign to reduce the number of early elective deliveries (EED), the agency is partnering with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Kansas Hospital Association (KHA) and the Kansas Healthcare Collaborative (KHC) to recognize Kansas birthing hospitals that pledge to eliminate early elective deliveries.
“We commend Mercy Hospital Fort Scott for reducing the number of elective inductions and cesarean deliveries performed before 39 weeks of pregnancy to less than five percent of all deliveries,” Jarris added.
“I’m extremely proud of the work to reduce the number of early elective deliveries at Mercy Hospital Fort Scott,” said Reta Baker, Mercy Hospital president. “This took great teamwork from our Mercy physicians, nurses and obstetric unit. It is a tremendous accomplishment that will give many more babies a healthy start in life.”
Dr. Larry Seals, Mercy OB/GYN, said, “Teamwork is the key. Collectively, we recognized the problem of unnecessary early deliveries and put in place policies to avoid scheduling c-sections or inductions before 39 weeks of pregnancy, except when medically necessary.”
In the past five years, Mercy Hospital has reduced the number of EEDs from 34 percent in 2011 to zero percent in 2016.
“The recognition by the March of Dimes helps us spread the message that ‘Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait,’” Seals added. “The March of Dimes campaign urges women to wait for labor to begin on its own if their pregnancy is healthy, rather than scheduling delivery before 39 weeks.”