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VCU Health Tappahannock Hospital earns Leapfrog ‘A’ for quality and safety

National ranking recognizes VCU Health Tappahannock Hospital’s continued focus on sustaining a “culture of safety” and exceptional patient care.

large white building with a black sign that says VCU Health Tappahannock Hospital. There is also a flag pole with an American flag and POW flag. VCU Health Tappahannock Hospital offers a wide variety of services, including ranging from traditional hospital care to intensive care. (VCU Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

For the sixth time, VCU Health Tappahannock Hospital received an “A” grade, the highest possible ranking, from The Leapfrog Group’s fall 2023 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. This national designation recognizes a hospital’s efforts in protecting patients from preventable harm.

The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization committed to improving health care quality and safety. It assigns safety grades to participating hospitals across the nation twice annually in the spring and fall. It is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on a hospital's efforts to prevent medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections and other harms to patients in their care.

“We all play a role in protecting our patients,” said Liz Martin, president of VCU Health Tappahannock Hospital. “As an organization, we recognize how vital it is that we empower people to seek opportunities to improve the safety of our patients, caregivers and visitors. We celebrate and thank our staff and providers for their continued focus on ensuring we care for our community in a safe environment.”

Clinical components that affect the Leapfrog score include medication safety, ICU physician staffing, adhering to patient safety practices and evaluating nurse staffing. Tappahannock Hospital has great outcomes, with low hospital harm events, a well-established process to identify and mitigate potential safety issues, infection prevention standards in place, and plans for appropriate staffing needs to ensure manageable nursing workloads and critical care physician coverage.

Bar code medication administration — a process that utilizes computer technology to assess for the correct patient, medication, administration time, dose, and any interactions — has been sustained above 95% compliance in all units at Tappahannock Hospital, which further enhances medication administration safety. Team members also leverage technology to bring specialized physicians to patients’ bedsides in the intensive care unit via telemedicine, including daily coverage provided by the VCU Medical Center critical care team in Richmond.

“Sustaining a culture of safety is a priority, and front line team members are engaged and supported by senior leadership to recognize and report potential safety events and implement process improvement measures to mitigate harm,” Martin said.

Developed under the guidance of a national expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses up to 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to nearly 3,000 general hospitals nationwide.

The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public. To see VCU Health Tappahannock Hospital’s full grade details and access patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit hospitalsafetygrade.org.

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