Picture credit - SEGHS

The Camden Campus Hospital affiliated with Southeast Georgia Health System received an overall grade of a B from a national hospital safety grade group.

This is Camden’s second score for 2018. In the Spring of 2018, Camden received an overall grade of a C. In 2017, Camden received a grade of a C for both fall and spring.

Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades (formerly known as Hospital Safety Scores) are assigned to over 2,600 general acute-care hospitals across the nation twice annually. The Safety Grade is becoming the gold standard measure of patient safety, cited in MSNBCThe New York Timesand AARP The Magazine.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses national performance measures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey and Health Information Technology Supplement.

Leapfrog will also be expanding their grading system to outpatient and ambulatory surgery centers starting April 2019.

You can read more about the scoring methodology here. 

Camden received grades in the following areas:

Infections – C. diff infections received a grade of below average with a score of 0.917 where the best score is 0.00, according to Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade rating.

  • Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a bacterium that can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and fever. Most C. diff cases occur in patients taking or having recently taken antibiotics, and fully killing the bacteria in an infected patient can be very difficult. C. diff can spread via contaminated equipment or by providers who fail to properly wash their hands between patients.
  • Other areas of infections include MRSA, infection in the blood, infection in the urinary tract, and surgical infection after colon surgery were not reported to Leapfrog by Camden’s campus.

Problems with surgery –  This category had seven areas of reporting where 4 out of the seven were above average, one area was average, and the area of “death from serious complications” was not reported. 

  • Dangerous objects left in the body – The hospital scored above average with a score of 0.00, which is the best score.
  • Surgical wound splits open – The hospital scored average in this category with a score of 0.84 where the best hospital scored 0.32. After a major surgery on the stomach or abdomen area, the healthcare team must be careful to make sure that the surgical stitches don’t break open. This could leave the wound exposed. A surgical wound splitting open is very painful and puts the patient at risk for infection.
  • Death from treatable serious complicationsThe hospital did not report this number to Leapfrog. Sometimes after surgery, patients can develop serious complications while they are in the hospital. They might catch pneumonia, have a heart attack, or lose function in their kidneys or liver. These problems are serious but can be treated by a good hospital team. If the hospital doesn’t manage the patient’s complications correctly, the patient could die.
  • Collapsed lung – The hospital scored above average in this area with a score of 0.28 where the best score was 0.11.  A collapsed lung is when air leaks out of the lung and goes into the area between the lungs and the chest wall. It can happen when a doctor or nurse is inserting a catheter, a feeding tube, or even a pacemaker. This kind of lung injury can be serious and can cause severe chest pain and other complications.
  • Serious breathing problem – The hospital scored above average in this area with a score of 7.04 where the best score was 1.71 and the worst score was 17.91. After surgery, some patients can develop a serious breathing problem. Their lungs either cannot take in enough oxygen or cannot get rid of carbon dioxide. Without immediate care, the patient can lose consciousness, fall into a coma, or even die.
  • Dangerous blood clot – The hospital scored below average in this area with a score of 4.10 where the best score was a 1.21 and the worst score was 7.32.  A blood clot is a gathering of blood cells in a vein, which can be caused by damage to tissue during surgery. Most blood clots form in the leg but the clot can break away and travel through the bloodstream to other areas of the body. If the clot travels to the lungs and gets stuck, it can prevent oxygen from getting into the blood. This can lead to chest pain, unconsciousness, and even death. Most clots can be avoided in the hospital if compression devices are used, blood thinners with close monitoring, and get patients walking soon after surgeries.
  • Accidental cuts and tears – The hospital scored above average in this area with a score of 1.25 where the best score was 0.57 and the worse score was 2.15. For procedures of the abdomen and pelvis, there is a chance that the patient will suffer an accidental cut or tear of their skin or other tissue. This problem can happen during surgery or a procedure where doctors use a tube to look into a patient’s body. Safer hospital staff is careful when using scalpels, knives, and other surgical tools so that they don’t accidentally cut or tear the patient’s skin and tissues.

Practices to prevent errors – This area has 6 categories and the Camden Campus scored above average in three areas and below average in three areas.

  • Above average reporting –
    • Safe medication administration – Score for Camden was 100 which was the best score. Using barcodes on medications, nurses can scan the medication and then the patient’s ID bracelet to make sure the patient is receiving the right medications.
    • Handwashing – Score for Camden was 60 which was the best score. Hospitals provide training and implement policies to make sure that all hospital staff cleans their hands before touching a patient.
    • Staff working together to prevent errors – Score for Camden was 120 which was the best score. Hospitals regularly survey their physicians, nurses, and other staff on the culture of safety to measure how well staff works together to keep patients safe. Then, hospitals provide feedback on the results to leaders and hospital staff and create plans to improve.
  • Below average reporting –
    • Doctors order medications through the computer – Score for Camden was 40 and the best hospital scored 100.  Hospitals can use Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) systems to order medications for patients in the hospital. CPOE systems help to reduce medication errors in the hospital.
    • Communications about medications – Score for Camden was 76 and the best hospital scored 89.   Effective communication about medicine prevents misunderstandings that could lead to serious problems for a patient. Hospitals that score well on this measure take time to speak with every patient to ensure that the patient understands the purpose of any new medication they are given, how to take the medication, and the risk of any possible side effects.
    • Communication about discharge –  Score for Camden was 84 and the best hospital scored 96.  The Communication about Discharge measure summarizes how well the hospital staff communicated with patients about the help they would need at home after leaving the hospital. The measure also summarizes how often patients reported that they were given written information about symptoms or health problems to watch for during their recovery. Hospitals that score well on this measure take time with every patient to clarify the patient’s responsibilities during her recovery at home, clarify the responsibilities of caregivers at home, and educate the patient on any symptoms that could point to problems in the recovery process.

Safety Problems – There were four areas in this category. Camden scored above average in all four categories of dangerous bedsores, patient falls, air or gas bubbles in the blood, track and reduce risks to patients. Camden scored above average managing dangerous bedsores with a score of 0.31 where the best hospital scored 0.02. All other scores in this area were considered perfect.

Doctors, Nurses, & Staff – This area had six areas of reporting where four areas had above average scores and two areas had below average scores. 

  • Above average areas –
    • Effective Leadership to Prevent Errors – Camden scored 120 where this was the best score.
    • Enough Qualified Nurses – Camden scored a 100 in this area where this score was the best score.
    • Communication with Nurses – Camden scored a 92 in this area where 96 was considered the best score.
    • Responsiveness of hospital staff – Camden scored an 85 in this area where 94 was considered the best score.
  • Below average areas –
    • Specially trained doctors care for ICU patients – Camden scored a 5 which was the worst possible score. A score of 100 was the best score.
    • Communication with doctors – Camden scored a 91 in this area where 96 was considered the best score. The average score for a hospital was 91.6 for this area. Although this area is in the nineties, Leapfrog considered this a lower than average score. The worst score was an 82.

To view Camden’s entire profile on Leapfrog, click here.

Nearby hospitals received the following Fall 2018 grades –

  • Baptist in Nassau County, FL – A
  • Southeast GA Health System Brunswick Campus – C
  • UF Health Jacksonville – C
  • Baptist Medical Center Jax – A
  • St. Vincent’s Medical Center Riverside, Jax – B
  • Memorial Hospital Jacksonville – C

More on the methodology can be viewed here – 

 

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Jeremy Spencer
Jeremy Spencer grew up in rural South Georgia and has served as a healthcare provider, high school science teacher, school administrator, and state education official. Jeremy is currently the market and content manager for All on Georgia-Camden and Glynn Counties. Jeremy’s focus is local news, statewide education issues, and statewide political commentary for the All on Georgia News Network. Jeremy has served as an education policy analyst for local legislators and state education leaders as well as a campaign strategist for local and statewide political campaigns. Jeremy holds degrees in science and education from the University of Georgia, Piedmont College, and Valdosta State University. Jeremy has lived in Camden County for over 17 years.

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