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Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Gets "F" On National Hospital Safety Report Card

Tom Flanigan

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital says it’s working to improve after the latest Leapfrog Hospital Report Card rated the facility an “F”. The report card is twice a year in the Fall and Spring and uses both self-reported and federally submitted data to determine its findings. TMH took the worst hits for issues such as safety practices, infections, and operation errors.

“Looking at those and using the resources to shine a light on safety measures is never a bad thing. I think a lot of the measures that were included in leapfrog were on our radar already. But there were some things it highlighted for us that weren’t on our radar," said Janna Iezzie-Tumblin, TMH's Chief Improvement Officer.

She explains the hospital's failing grade is also partly because of its self-survey being submitted with missing and incomplete information. The hospital farmed out survey duties to some staff without realizing not everyone had the same information at hand. Iezzie-Tumblin says she also didn’t fully understand how Leapfrog worked. Some of the measures in the survey are reported annually and don’t change between the Fall and Spring, but some do. The self-reported survey is one of the elements that don’t change, and when data from other sources was pulled in the Spring, the hospital fared worse.

“That was a learning moment because I misunderstood, too. It wasn’t intuitive to me Iezzie Tumblin says of how the Leapfrog report was compiled. The Fall of 2019 marked the first time TMH submitted a survey and actively took part in Leapfrog's report card. Despite the poor performance, Iezzi-Tumblin says the hospital plans to keep contributing to Leapfrog and believes it will get a higher rating in the Fall.

“It’s obviously very disappointing to us and it wears on all of us because we all work very hard to be better, and to be the best. I can’t tell you personally how many physician leaders…have come by my office to ask ‘how can we help?’ So there’s not anyone who’s not fully engaged with this.”

Thomasville’s Archbold Medical Center was rated a “C” and Capital Regional Hospital received an “A” on the Leapfrog report card.

“Our entire organization is consistently committed to high-quality care and patient safety. We are so proud of our second “A” safety grade in a row. This repeat grade demonstrates our focused commitment to higher standards. This accomplishment is the product of constant hard work, team effort, and turning innovations into performance. Our physicians, nurses, and support colleagues will continue to build on our improvement efforts that merit this recognition,” said Trey Blake, Chief Medical Officer of Capital Regional Medical Center.

Capital Regional has never been rated lower than a "C" when it comes to patient safety.

Corrected: May 7, 2020 at 9:29 AM EDT
There were two references to Capital Regional's "A" rating on the Leapfrog report. The first reference said this was the hospital's first "A" the second reference said it was the hospital's second "A". This is the hospital's second "A" grade on the report card.
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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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