Atrium Health Stanly receives A grade for safety

Atrium Health Stanly is among the safest hospitals in the state, according to a new report released by a health-care industry watchdog group.

The hospital was given an A grade by The Leapfrog Group, a marked improvement from the C grade it received in the spring. The last time the hospital received an A grade was in the fall of 2017.

The scores were released as part of The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Grades, which it produces twice a year. Leapfrog is a “national nonprofit focused on health care safety and quality,” according to its website. Over the past 20 years it has “has collected, analyzed, and published data on safety and quality in order to push the healthcare industry forward.”

The report included more than 2,600 hospitals across the country, including 81 in North Carolina. Atrium Health Stanly was one of 42 hospitals to receive an A grade.

Hospitals were graded on 27 metrics which focused on “how well hospitals protect patients from preventable errors, accidents, injuries and infections,” Leapfrog said. The nonprofit said that while the data doesn’t yet include findings collected during COVID-19, “the data offers an indication of how well hospitals implemented fundamental safety precautions prior to the pandemic.”

In the specific assessment about Atrium Health Stanly, the hospital performed “above average” in most of the metrics including effective leadership to prevent errors, enough qualified nurses, communication with doctors and responsiveness to hospital staff. The report found it performed below average in terms of patient breathing problems, dangerous bed sores and specially trained doctors care for ICU patients. Some metrics such as handwashing were not available due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other hospitals in the region that received A grades include Atrium Health Union in Monroe, Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte and Novant Health Rowan Medical Center in Salisbury. Three other nearby Atrium facilities — Atrium Health Cabarrus in Concord, Atrium Health Pineville and Carolinas Medical Center Mercy — received B grades.