(WFXR) — Newly-released safety ratings from a nonprofit watchdog organization show which southwest and central Virginia hospitals are making the grade when it comes to protecting patients from preventable harm and error.

According to officials, the Leapfrog Group analyzes process/structural measures and outcome measures for general hospitals; rates them based on over 30 national performance measures reflecting errors, accidents, injuries, and infections, as well as systems in place to prevent harm; and then compiling them for the “Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade.”

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade’s website provides a variety of scores for each hospital within five categories — infections; problems with surgery; safety problems; practices to prevent errors; and doctors, nurses, and hospital staff. Then, the hospital systems are graded on a scale of “A” to “F.”

To rate these health systems, the Leapfrog Group specifically analyzes aspects like the responsiveness of hospital staff, how doctors prescribe medication, whether or not surgeons leave dangerous objects in a patient’s body.

All four LewisGale hospitals in the Commonwealth received an “A,” as well as Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital, Carilion New River Valley Medical Center, Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital, and Twin County Regional Healthcare.

Meanwhile, Wythe County Community Hospital got a “B,” Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and all four Centra hospitals got a “C,” and Sovah Health Martinsville got a “D.”

However, it is important to note that not all hospitals can be rated with the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade.

The organization says a hospital needs to have enough safety data available for their experts to issue them a letter grade.

The CEO of LewisGale Hospital Alleghany, Lee Higginbotham, says LewisGale’s “A” rating validates the hospital staff members’ hard work.

“They strive to provide excellent care every day, trying to minimize harm to patients, accidents, preventing infection and other illnesses that could happen,” said Higginbotham.

In addition, Higginbotham says the rating also shows that the hospital system practices what it preaches — caring about its patients.

Gregory Pearson, the CEO of Twin County Regional Healthcare, responded to the Galax hospital’s “A” grade:

One of our five guiding principles is to deliver high quality patient care. Our team works tirelessly day in and day out to ensure our community receives high quality, patient-centered care. I’m so proud of our team, and the exceptional work they do making our hospital one of the best in the region for patient safety and quality outcomes.

Meanwhile, Carilion Clinic sent the following statement to WFXR News after receiving “A” and “C” grades between its three hospitals:

Carilion Clinic is committed to providing world-class health care for our patients and the communities we serve. Exceptional health care and patient safety are our top priorities.  

The latest Leapfrog Grades indicate that Carilion New River Valley Medical Center (CNRV) and Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital (CFMH) both received an “A” grade. Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital (CRMH) received a “C” grade. Carilion Roanoke Memorial is the region’s tertiary/quaternary care center and its only Level 1 Trauma Center. It regularly receives referrals from more than 60 other hospitals, often treating the sickest of the sick. Due to the complexity of their conditions, many of those patients require sophisticated care only available at an academic medical center such as Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. 

Over the past two years, we’ve focused on and achieved significant reductions in hospital-acquired infections and improvements in patient safety using the best infection control practices, improvement science, and the latest technologies in patient safety – including artificial intelligence, machine learning platforms and a state-of-the-art Center for Simulation and Patient Safety to train providers and research best practices in care. 

It’s important to note that these grades are based on data from past years. Our more recent data suggests we are continually improving the care that we provide.

Dr. M. Suzanne Kraemer, Carilion Clinic Chief Quality Officer and Vice President of Clinical Advancement and Patient Safety

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade includes spring 2022 ratings for 73 hospitals across Virginia. You can check out the full list of safety scores by clicking here.