King’s Daughters Medical Center gets ‘A’ safety grade once again

Published 3:00 pm Monday, May 8, 2023

Eleven Mississippi hospitals have received an “A” safety score from nonprofit The Leapfrog Group, including King’s Daughters Medical Center in Brookhaven.

The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit upholding the standard of patient safety in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers.

The national distinction celebrates KDMC’s achievements in prioritizing patient safety by protecting patients from preventable harm and errors. The new grades reflect performance primarily during the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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“King’s Daughters Medical Center is excited and honored to receive an ‘A’ rating for patient safety from The Leapfrog Group once again,” said KDMC CEO Scott Christensen. “This is an award that the KDMC family consistently strives for because it further proves our commitment to our patients. Leapfrog has done an outstanding job in setting a gold standard for safety. To be recognized by this organization is a great achievement. Patient safety is a priority that exemplifies our mission of always providing quality health and wellness in a Christian environment.”

“This new update of Hospital Safety Grades shows that, at the national level, we saw deterioration in patient safety with the pandemic,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “But this hospital received an ‘A’ despite those challenges. I congratulate all the leaders, staff, volunteers and clinicians who together made that possible.”

“Congratulations to KDMC for getting another ‘A’ in patient safety,” said Mayor Joe Cox. “What a benefit they are to the city.”

Leapfrog hands out grades biannually to approximately 3,000 general acute-care hospitals nationwide based on how they protect patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections. Performance on more than 30 national metrics from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, and other data determine each organization’s score.

Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center in McComb received a “C,” as did Merit Health Natchez.

The state’s largest hospital, The University of Mississippi Medical Center, scored a “C” for the fifth year in a row. The state’s only academic medical center, UMMC had worse than average performance compared to other hospitals in deaths from surgical complications, split-open surgical wounds, blood infections and patient falls, according to the report. Leapfrog also noted the hospital did not have enough qualified nurses on staff.

Nationwide, 29 percent of hospitals received an “A,” 26 percent scored a “B,” and 39 percent were rated a “C.” Six percent received a “D” grade, and less than 1 percent scored “F.”

Merit Health Biloxi was the only Mississippi hospital to receive a grade of “D.” It received the same grade in December 2022. MHB scored worse than average in rate of infections developed among patients, such as sepsis after surgeries.

No Mississippi hospital received an “F.”

The risk of three infections commonly associated with hospital stays – including MRSA, central-line blood infections, and catheter-related urinary tract infections — spiked to a five-year high during the COVID-19 pandemic and remains high in its latest report, according to Leapfrog.

“Infections like these can be life or death for some patients,” said Binder. “We recognize the tremendous strain the pandemic put on hospitals and their workforce, but alarming findings like these indicate hospitals must recommit to patient safety and build more resilience.”



Mississippi Today contributed to this story.