Prioritizing patient safety in the hospital

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital makes patient safety a priority, which is reflected in Leapfrog's Hospital Safety Grade that was recently released for the fall.

These grades are based on how safe a hospital is for patients, which helps them decide where to receive their care. Overall, Sentara Martha Jefferson received an A grade, meaning it takes that extra step to protect patients.

The Hospital Safety Grade is measured by looking at a hospital's structure and process, which account for 50 percent of the grade, and patient outcomes, which make up the other half of the overall score.

Sentara Martha Jefferson decreases structural errors through a computer system that allows physicians to pair the right medication with the right patient. The process is measured by the hospital's responsiveness and the correct usage of that system, which allows for a better patient outcome.

All employees at the hospital go through a safety training course to ensure everyone is giving the best possible care to each patient.

"We also meet daily and talk about concerns we have about either safety incidents, if there have been any, or how we can prevent safety incidents for the next day,” Vice President of Medical Affairs, Dr. Michael Ashby, said. “That happens every day in the morning, we meet and have that discussion."

Leapfrog's Hospital Safety Grade website allows users to see how a score in a certain category compares to the best, worst and average scores of other hospitals.

"There have been some challenges as a relatively small hospital, a single patient infection, say a central line infection, can make us miss the mark for that,” Ashby said. “So, we have to be very cautious about that, and that's what you want for patients, is not give them infections."

Aside from the challenges, the hospital consistently scored well on patient communication. Even though Sentara Martha Jefferson received an A rating, it still works every day to improve patient safety and experience throughout the hospital.

To learn more about Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital Safety Grade, or other how other hospitals scored, click on the link in the Related Links box.

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