Many central Pennsylvania hospitals received high marks in a new batch of safety grades, although an area jewel, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, received a lackluster C.

The grades come from The Leapfrog Group, an independent, business-backed non-profit that touts the grades as the best free source of information consumers can use to evaluate the safety of their local hospital. Grades of Pennsylvania hospitals can be found here.

Penn State-Hershey had worse than average ratings in areas includingphysician staffing in the intensive care unit, preventing falls, and for rates of central line associated blood stream infections, accidental cuts or tears from medical treatment, and collapsed lung due to medical treatment.

Statewide, Leapfrog ranked Pennsylvania in the middle of the pack — 26th — with only 28 percent of its hospitals receiving an A.

In the Harrisburg region, PinnacleHealth System received grades of A for both of its hospitals, Harrisburg and Community General Osteopathic. Holy Spirit Hospital received an A. Carlisle Regional Medical Center received a B.

Good Samaritan Hospital in Lebanon joined Penn State-Hershey in receiving a C, and was faulted in several of the same areas at Penn State-Hershey.

“Everyone … consumers, hospitals, patients, families of patients, unions and employers — has a role in improving safety”- The Leapfrog Group.

Leapfrog says it graded 2,514 U.S. hospitals, with 780 receiving an A, 638 receiving a B, 932 receiving a C, 148 receiving a D and 16 receiving an F.
In the Reading area, Reading Hospital received an A.

Elsewhere in the region, Memorial Hospital in York received a B and York Hospital received a C. Hanover Hospital and Gettysburg Hospital received each received an A, while Chambersburg Hospital received a C.

In the Lancaster area, Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster Regional Medical Center and Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital each received a B. Geisinger Medical Center in Danville received an A, while Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College received a B.

Leapfrog based its grades on 26 measures collected from sources including a Leapfrog survey and the federal Medicare program.

Examples of the measures include: foreign objects left inside surgical patients; patients who develop pressure ulcers; patients who are accidentally injured during surgery; staffing levels; whether the hospital has a computerized process for entering prescriptions; and whether surgical patients are given an antibiotic within an hour of the surgical incision.

According to Leapfrog, roughly one in four hospitalized patients in the United States suffers some form of harm. It urges people to check the safety score of their local hospital and to discuss it with their doctor. It warned people to be vigilant, even at A-rated hospitals.

The organization said “Everyone — including consumers, hospitals, patients, families of patients, unions and employers — has a role in improving safety in American hospitals.”

In the state rankings, Maine scored highest, with 80 percent of its hospitals receiving an A. Massachusetts was next, with 70 percent receiving an A. But there was drop off after that, with 46 percent of hospitals in third-place Minnesota receiving an A.

From the Patriot News