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CPH earns an ‘A’ for hospital safety

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POTSDAM - Canton-Potsdam Hospital, a not-for-profit facility with its main campus located in Potsdam, New York, was recognized with an “A” Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits. The A score was awarded in the latest update to the Hospital Safety ScoreSM, the A, B, C, D or F scores assigned to U.S. hospitals based on preventable medical errors, injuries accidents, and infections. The Hospital Safety Score was compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety. The first and only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety (April 2013), Hospital Safety Score is designed to give the public information they can use to protect themselves and their families.

“This is an honor that is shared across our organization,” said David B. Acker, FACHE, President and CEO of Canton-Potsdam Hospital. “It actually derives from the courage of a patient and her husband, who spoke to me back in 2009 about an infection acquired at our hospital that drastically curtailed their involvement in the community and enjoyment of life. The husband subsequently spoke to our entire staff through a series of meetings. The couple’s story was life-altering for them and for us and they share in this honor,” he said.

“Their experience set us on the path to a total redesign of our processes, extensive training in and reinforcement of best practices, investments in new equipment, commitment to gathering and using data to drive decisions, and a total, unwavering dedication to patient safety, always, in every situation,” said Mr. Acker, who credited everyone from physicians to housekeeping staff for working as a team to approach safety and quality proactively.

“The highest value healthcare is that of the highest quality,” said Mr. Acker. “Quality determines your ability to hire the best practitioners and healthcare leaders to serve a community; it attracts people who want to work in an environment that enables them to do their best for those in need, day after day,” he added. “Healthcare is a sacred trust, and quality is the bedrock of that trust. We have no higher goal,” he said.

“Earning an ‘A’ on the Hospital Safety Score demonstrates that this hospital has exhibited excellence in our national database of patient safety measures,” said Leah Binder, President and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. In a letter of congratulations addressed to CPH in which she noted that the hospital was the only facility in northern New York to achieve an “A” grade, Ms. Binder wrote “Clearly you are a leader in your community, setting the highest standards for the safety of the people you serve.”

To see CPH’s scores as they compare nationally and locally, visit the Hospital Safety Score website at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org, which provides information on how the public can protect themselves and loved ones during a hospital stay. Local hospitals’ scores are also available on the free mobile app, available at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.

Calculated under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group’s eight-member Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single score representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from infections, injuries, and medical and medication errors. The panel includes: John Birkmeyer (University of Michigan), Ashish Jha (Harvard University), Arnold Millstein (Stanford University), Peter Pronovost (Johns Hopkins University), Patrick Romano (University of California, Davis), Sara Singer (Harvard University), Tim Vogus (Vanderbilt University), and Robert Wachter (University of California, San Francisco).

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