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Published on June 16, 2020

Cone Health Hospitals Again in Top 5% in Nation for Patient Safety 

Safety is more important than ever as people return to hospitals in the wake of COVID-19. 

HealthGradesMany people have put off health care and are afraid of returning to hospitals and doctor’s offices. They fear getting COVID-19. That is why picking a hospital that emphasizes patient safety is important. Annie Penn Hospital, Moses Cone Hospital and Wesley Long Hospital have received the Healthgrades 2020 Patient Safety Excellence AwardTM. This distinction places them among the top 5% of acute care hospitals as evaluated by Healthgrades, the leading resource that connects consumers, physicians and health systems.     

This is the second year that these hospitals have received the award (2019-2020). “Today, more than ever, we appreciate the importance of preventing infections, of taking the right steps to avoid spreading germs and of keeping patients safe,” says Bruce Swords, MD, PhD, chief physician executive, Cone Health. “Hospitals are redoubling efforts to keep patients safe by increasing the use of UV robots, cleaning more areas more often and configuring waiting areas to accommodate social distancing. It could be a silver lining that by taking the steps to lower the risk of COVID-19, we have fewer health care-associated infections of all types going forward.”   

Healthgrades found that patients treated in hospitals receiving the Patient Safety Excellence Award were, on average*:   

  • 63% less likely to experience catheter-related bloodstream infections acquired at the hospital than patients treated at nonrecipient hospitals.  

  • 48.3% less likely to experience a collapsed lung due to a procedure or surgery in or around the chest than patients treated at nonrecipient hospitals.  

  • 54.4% less likely to experience a hip fracture following surgery than patients treated at nonrecipient hospitals.  

  • 66.8% less likely to experience pressure sores or bed sores acquired in the hospital than patients treated at nonrecipient hospitals.     

If all hospitals in the country performed at the level of award recipients for each of the 13 patient safety indicators, 110,864 patient safety events could have been avoided.*  

“Consumers might not know that information around patient safety is readily available and should be considered when researching health care options,” said Brad Bowman, MD, chief medical officer, Healthgrades. “We commend the recipients of the 2020 Patient Safety Excellence Award for their dedication to providing excellent care for their patients.”      

During the study period (2016 through 2018), Healthgrades 2020 Patient Safety Excellence Award recipient hospitals demonstrated excellent performance in safeguarding patients in the Medicare population, as measured by objective outcomes. These are 13 risk-adjusted patient safety indicators defined by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. A 14th indicator included in the evaluation is foreign objects left in body during a surgery or procedure which is a “never” event and does not have an expected rate.   

View Healthgrades hospital quality methodologies  

*Statistics are calculated from Healthgrades Patient Safety Ratings and Excellence Award methodology which is based primarily on AHRQ technical specifications (Version 2019.0.1) to MedPAR data for years 2016 through 2018 and represent three-year estimates for Medicare patients only. 

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