Pen Bay gets C grade from national group

By Stephen Betts | Nov 08, 2018
Source: MaineHealth

Rockport — Pen  Bay Medical Center received a C grade from a national organization that tracks hospital quality.

The score -- based on data from 2015 and 2016 cases -- is a drop from grades of B received in the spring of 2018 and the fall of 2017. Pen Bay had received grades of A in the spring of 2017 and in both grading periods in 2016 and 2015.

The most recent score was issued Nov. 8 by the Leapfrog Group.

MaineHealth issued a statement on the release of the most recent score, saying that there was one coded error in the report that could have affected the grade. Leapfrog had listed one incident where a foreign object was allegedly left in a patient following surgery, but that was not actually the case.

'Unfortunately, this misidentification had an oversized impact on our score. We are working with CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] and Leapfrog to correct this score for the future, but for now, and possibly into 2019, this incident will impact our ranking," MaineHealth stated in its news release issued Nov. 8.

MaineHealth spokeswoman Jenifer Harris said if that coding error had not occurred, the hospital would have had a B grade.

Other issues that were cited for the change in the grade included a single incident each of a patient fall and a pressure ulcer, as well three perioperative deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolisms.

"While these rankings have just been released, the data was collected in 2016. Since that time, we have been actively engaged in improvement processes designed to reduce or eliminate incidents in each of these areas," MaineHealth stated.

Leapfrog is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting quality and safety in health care through transparency and setting bench marks. Leapfrog was founded in in 2000 by large employers and health care purchasers. Leapfrog has been issuing its hospital safety grade ratings, which come out twice a year, since 2012.

Leapfrog does not issue safety ratings for critical-access hospitals such as Waldo County General.

"No rating system is perfect, and reducing something as complex as the delivery of modern medical care to a simple letter grade is bound to be an inexact exercise, but Pen Bay Medical Center takes all feedback scores seriously and we are grateful to have the opportunity to look back and make improvements," the news release from MaineHealth states.

"We have a growing team of quality colleagues at PBMC who remain committed to safeguarding high-quality, patient-centered care. The team works every day to exceed the expectations of our patients and organizations like Leapfrog. We feel confident that current care and scores exceed those expectations," according to MaineHealth.

In April, after Pen Bay received its second consecutive B grade, the chief executive officer of PBMC said the administration and staff were working hard to earn an A grade.

A review of the latest Leapfrog report for Pen Bay shows that it scored high in communication with patients by nurses and doctors. Pen Bay also scored at the top in terms of having enough qualified nurses, having effective leadership to prevent patient errors and administration of medication.

The hospital scored below average on some categories, including bed sores, patient falls and hand-washing.

Of the 15 hospitals in Maine that were scored by Leapfrog, two -- including Pen Bay -- received grades of C. Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick was the other hospital that got a C grade.

Six received grades of A. Seven got grades of B.

Comments (3)
Posted by: Jane Conrad | Nov 11, 2018 12:28

This score is contrary to the experiences my husband and I had at Pen Bay in the past 2 years, which included 2 surgeries and another hospitalization, during which we received excellent care from providers at all levels, CNAs, nurses and doctors.  We are very lucky to have a hospital of this caliber in our community.  I am confident that whatever issues led to this rating will be addressed.


Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Nov 08, 2018 14:59

Funny you should mention washing hands. When I was a Student Nurse at Pen-Bay all Nurses and we Student Nurse trainees washed our hands when entering the patient room and when leaving. Doctors? Not so good. They never washed their hands before or after and one Doctor threw a clean pillow on the floor, put the patients foot on the pillow and examined the open wound. Then threw the pillow back on the just cleaned/sanitized,  remade bed. But that was long ago and surely things have changed for the better? Maybe not.

Posted by: Ananur Forma | Nov 08, 2018 13:34

not good at hand washing?

If you wish to comment, please login.