Hospital’s ‘A’ grade to be commended

UP Health System-Marquette has leapfrogged into a better rating for overall quality.

The Leapfrog Group, based in Washington, D.C., released its new Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report Tuesday, with UPHS-Marquette earning an “A” rating for data reported on its spring survey this year.

This is a vast improvement over recent years. Since 2015, the hospital has received either a “C” or a “D.”

The report issued by Leapfrog, which aims to improve health care quality and safety for patients, uses 27 measures of available hospital data to give grades to about 2,500 U.S. hospitals two times a year.

The grade indicates how safe general acute care hospitals are for patients, with the grades assigned to hospitals based on their performances in preventing medical errors, infections and other harmful situations among their patients.

UPHS-Marquette excels at handling infections, safety problems, surgery and practices to correct errors, the report said.

However, the hospital earned negative marks in regard to communication with doctors and nurses, responsiveness of hospital staff, patient falls and handling collapsed lungs.

UPHS-Marquette also is dealing with a challenging public matter. Over the weekend, UPHS-Marquette unionized nurses overwhelmingly passed an authorization vote to go on strike, with no strike date set. Nurses have cited staffing levels they consider unsafe for patients as the primary reason. They also have been working without a contract since July 28 after a two-month extension to a previous agreement expired.

As that situation plays out, however, UPHS-Marquette can feel good knowing that it’s only one of 750 hospitals in the country given an “A” by The Leapfrog Group.

And as with other hospitals that voluntarily submitted data to the Leapfrog survey, it is to be commended for its transparency. Any hospital unwilling to share data publicly should be considered at least a little bit suspect.

The improvement of hospitals seems to be a growing trend in Michigan. The Economic Alliance for Michigan said the state ranks 24th in the United States for percentage of “A” hospitals. Last fall, it was 36th.

Brian Sinotte, market president for UPHS, said it’s nice to see the hospital’s progress recognized through a national grading system.

We too are pleased with the hospital’s progress, and hope UPHS-Marquette continues on the upward trend and receives an “A” rating for years to come.

The community has many good things going for it, and a safe hospital is not only an attractive amenity, it’s a necessity.