Higher grades mark Upstate’s latest hospital safety scores

Upstate University Hospital’s hospital safety scores rose in the most recent Leapfrog Group report.

In grades for Fall 2018, The Community Campus earned a grade of B and the Downtown Campus earned a C. Both campuses operate under the same medical license, but are graded separately since they have separate clinical services and operations.

In a letter to campus, Hans Cassagnol, MD, chief quality officer and assistant dean for clinical quality, noted the importance of quality throughout campus operations.

“Under OUR Upstate strategic plan, Upstate Medical University’s focus on quality has become a strategic objective that runs across all university missions, programs and services. The inclusion of Improving Quality as a strategic objective ensures that efforts to address issues of quality have a university-wide focus—a One University approach—to ensure that quality enhancements are made to all areas of our mission with same level of importance and support.

“An example of work done under our Improving Quality strategic objective are the enhancements to patient safety, which have led to higher grades in the most recent Leapfrog Hospital Safety report.

Cassagnol pointed to the following key quality enhancements:

—The development of a Patient Quality and Safety Council to ensure that a comprehensive system-wide quality and safety program is in place and functioning effectively. This council provides support, input and governance to various committees and clinical areas at Upstate University Hospital, as well as reviews system issues within the hospital system related to the delivery of quality medical care.

—The implementation of a Patient and Family Advisory Council to create a more formal channel for gathering input from patients and families about ways to improve services and create a more customer-centered care model. Upstate already provides patients and families with various opportunities to provide feedback for hospital stays and care.

—The initiation of Safety Huddle calls, a daily call to foster greater communication between frontline staff and leadership. The purpose of the call is to assess concerns that may have occurred over the past 24 hours, discuss potential concerns that may arise in the next 24 hours and how they can be addressed.

—The intensive training campaigns related to reducing surgical site infections, enhancing hand hygiene and flu vaccination rates.

Cassagnol thanked all employees for their hard work in making improvements in the hospital safety scores.

“While we are on the right trajectory with our current grades, we are not where we want to be. We will continue to make improvements to enhance our environment for patients and strengthen our safety protocols,” Cassagnol noted.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year.

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