Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
ALBANY, Ga. -- A poor rating of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital by The Leapfrog Group stems from its report being based on old data, as well as some factors in its analysis that were excluded, officials with the hospital say.
The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Score report, released in June and published in "Health" magazine this week, ranks Phoebe No. 6 among the 25 worst hospitals in the United States, giving it a letter grade of "F."
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Compare site, the 2012 Leapfrog Hospital Survey and American Hospital Association data from 2009 and 2010 were used to determine the hospital's score. Some of the data from CMS date back to July 2009.
Dr. Doug Patten, senior vice president of medical affairs at Phoebe, noted that the hospital received high marks from Georgia Trend, which gave Phoebe a No. 8 ranking among the top large hospitals in the state and Phoebe North a No. 7 ranking among the top small hospitals.
That report, in the magazine's December 2012 issue, also pulled its information from the CMS site.
"There are two entities looking at the same data and (perceiving it) differently," Patten said. "I find that very troubling, because it is hard enough to make health care choices; it is very complex. If you take this information (and boil it down) to a single letter grade, that does not give all the information a person needs.
"We will continue to work with Leapfrog. We don't see them as enemies. We see them as having the same agenda as us (promoting quality of care), so we will work with them."
In the meantime, Patten said that the staff at Phoebe is working to close the gaps on the hospital's core measures in its pursuit of becoming a Top 10 percent hospital.
The data provided in the report on Phoebe showed that, for air embolisms, the hospital received a value of ".074," with the worst-performing hospital receiving a ".1." For deaths from serious treatable complications after surgery, Phoebe scored 163.82, while the worst-performing hospital received a score of 163.8.
For computerized prescriber order entry and intensive care unit physician staffing, the hospital received scores of 20 and 5, respectively, with the best performing hospital receiving a 100 in both categories. The report shows that the computer order entry data were from a 2009 AHA technology supplement, while the ICU staffing score was based on a 2010 AHA survey.
"In 2009, we were nowhere near where we are now in terms of computer order entry," Patten said. "(For that), we are where we need to be. We are hitting all the right targets."
Data for several other categories, including breathing failure after surgery, leadership structures and systems, culture measurement, feedback and intervention, and hand hygiene, were unavailable because the majority of that information was obtained from the 2012 Leapfrog Hospital Survey, which Phoebe did not participate in, further contributing to the use of old data for the survey, Patten said.
On the flip side, Phoebe received scores ranging from 85-97 out of 100 for patients receiving an antibiotic within an hour prior to surgical incision, patients receiving the right antibiotic and surgery patients receiving appropriate treatment to prevent blood clots at the right time -- as well as a few other areas.
Phoebe was the only hospital in Georgia to make the 25 worst hospitals listing. Among the others were University of California Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, which was ranked No. 4. Wiregrass Medical Center in Geneva, Ala., received the No. 1 spot.
"It was surprising for a lot of those hospitals on there, because the quality of care they deliver does not match up to that score," Patten said.
A search of other nearby hospitals shows that Colquitt Regional Medical Center in Moultrie earned a "C" grade, while Palmyra Medical Center -- currently Phoebe North -- earned a "B." Tift Regional Medical Center in Tifton earned a "C," while John D. Archbold Medical Center earned a "B."