October 31, 2017

Overlake Receives Top-Ranking for Patient Safety - Leapfrog “A” in Fall 2017

Bellevue, Wash. – (Oct. 31, 2017) – Overlake Medical Center announced today it has received an A safety rating from the Leapfrog Group, highlighting its ongoing commitment to providing an exceptional patient experience while maintaining the highest quality and safety standards in its hospital and clinics. The Safety Grade assigns letter grades of A, B, C, D and F to hospitals nationwide based on their performance in preventing medical errors, infections and other harms.

“At Overlake we are focused on what is best for the patient, on high quality and safe care,” said Overlake Chief Medical Officer David Knoepfler, MD.  “Our core tenet is delivering high quality care and cultivating a culture of safety, which in turn serves our community well.” Overlake embarked on its “Journey to Zero Harm” plan in 2014, leading to a 43% reduction in total harm events.

Overlake was one of only 11 hospitals in Washington state to receive an A.  Developed under the Blue Ribbon National Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year.  It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public.

Tom Miller, MD, Overlake’s medical director of quality and safety, said daily staff safety huddles are among the strategies that have led to Overlake’s superior quality. At these 9 a.m. meetings, specific patient concerns, safety events, or issues with staffing or equipment are addressed and real time adjustments are made. “We believe in giving all staff the means, tools and support to provide patients with the highest quality care,” said Miller.

Overlake is working on a number of initiatives to help improve safety, including:

  • Involving community members in our committees, such as hospital quality improvement, Project FutureCare, ethics, and the Patient-Family Advisory Council
  • Steps to improve efficiency of care and decrease wait times in the Emergency Department
  • Collaborating with our partners at EvergreenHealth via the Eastside Healthcare Alliance to monitor and improve community health
  • Increasing awareness and learning through patient stories at committee meetings, leadership events, and "On Our Watch," a monthly hospital-wide gathering of staff

During the fiscal year 2017 (from July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017), Overlake Medical Center implemented the following services:

  • Ongoing monitoring of patients at home using secure e-mails for patients and families to keep in touch with their care team
  • Analyzing retrospective clinical and administrative data to identify areas for improving quality and reducing cost of care
  • Interfacing electronic health record data with population health tools for health care management
  • Providing data analytic tools training to physicians
  • Delivering quality metrics to physicians at point-of-care
  • Offering real-time patient identification and tracking for value-based care conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

The fall 2017 rating period marks the seventh time in the past eight rating periods that Overlake has received an A rating. “It takes consistent, unwavering dedication to patients to achieve the highest standards of a patient safety,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “An A safety grade recognizes hospitals for this accomplishment.”