Health care checkup

Only half of Austin-area hospitals are in excellent health, according to new report

Only half of Austin's hospitals are in excellent health, says report

Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Lakeway
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center — Lakeway achieved an "A" score. Photo courtesy of Baylor Scott & White Medical Center

A new scorecard indicates half of the hospitals in the Austin area are in excellent health when it comes to patient safety. The report card shows seven hospitals in the region earned the highest grade, A, while the area’s seven other hospitals earned grades of B and C.

The spring 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades program of the Leapfrog Group, an independent, nonprofit organization, assigns letter grades of A, B, C, D, or F to general acute care hospitals based on their track record regarding prevention of avoidable harm and deaths due to errors, infections, and injuries.

Local hospitals receiving the top score of A in the Leapfrog grading system are:

  • Baylor Scott & White Medical Center — Lakeway
  • Baylor Scott & White Medical Center — Round Rock
  • St. David’s Medical Center (32nd Street location)
  • St. David’s South Austin Medical Center
  • Seton Medical Center (38th Street location)
  • Seton Medical Center Williamson (Round Rock)
  • Seton Northwest Hospital

“This is the only national rating of how well hospitals protect patients from preventable harm and death, such as medical errors, infections, and injuries,” Leah Binder, president and CEO of the Leapfrog Group, says in a release. “Receiving an ‘A’ safety grade means a hospital is among the best in the country for preventing these terrible problems and putting their patients first, 24 hours a day.” 

Four local hospitals got a B:

  • Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas 
  • St. David’s Georgetown Hospital
  • St. David’s North Austin Medical Center
  • St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center

Three local hospitals earned a C:

  • Cedar Park Regional Medical Center
  • Central Texas Medical Center (San Marcos)
  • Seton Medical Center Hays (Kyle)

Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas in Austin and the Heart Hospital of Austin were not included in the rankings because they’re not general acute care hospitals.

Reacting to the rankings, Dr. Ken Mitchell, chief medical officer at St. David’s Healthcare, tells CultureMap: “We know that our patients value safety and high-quality care. Higher Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades are a direct reflection of the hard work of physicians, nurses, and staff members, and their commitment to achieving exceptional patient outcomes by creating a safe health care environment.”

Elsie Graves, vice president and chief nursing officer at Central Texas Medical Center — owned by the Adventist Health System — had this to say about the Leapfrog rating:

“Central Texas Medical Center takes quality and patient safety very seriously, and we dedicate continuous focus on patient safety indicators. We are quality-certified as a primary stroke center and an accredited chest pain center, and working toward becoming a Joint Center of Excellence and Bariatric Center of Excellence. Our mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ requires us to fulfill our sacred responsibility to provide the best care we can, and we have excellent caregivers dedicated to this effort.”

Representatives for the Seton Healthcare Family, which runs downtown's Dell Seton, among others hospitals, weren’t available for comment. Representatives of Baylor Scott & White Health couldn’t be reached for comment.