Overlake Earns an ‘A’ in Patient Safety for Fall 2019

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Bellevue, Wash. – Overlake Medical Center & Clinics announced today that for the fifth rating period in a row, it has been awarded an “A” safety rating from the national nonprofit organization The Leapfrog Group. This marks the 14th “A” rating in the past 15 rating cycles. This national distinction recognizes Overlake’s achievements in protecting patients from harm and providing safer healthcare. Safety grades of “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” or “F” are assigned to hospitals two times each year based on their performance in protecting patients from medical harm and error. Overlake is one of only two hospitals in Puget Sound, and the only one on the Eastside, to have received so many “A” grades from Leapfrog since the grading began in 2012. 

“Everyone at Overlake is committed to providing the highest quality, safest care to every patient who entrusts us with their or their loved ones’ health,” said Overlake Chief Medical Officer David Knoepfler, MD. “Our team members can be proud of the work they have done to earn this as well as previous Leapfrog “A” grades, because these demonstrate how our efforts consistently benefit patients.”

Overlake was one of only 15 hospitals in Washington state to receive an “A” this cycle and one of only two hospitals in Washington to receive so many “A” grades in the past seven years (14 of 15 cycles). “This outstanding achievement shows longstanding commitment to a culture of safety that puts patients first,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “Overlake Medical Center has demonstrated that saving lives by preventing accidents, injuries, infections and errors is business as usual. We commend the staff, faculty, volunteers, leadership and board of directors for their never-ending quest for the highest standards of patient safety.”

Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grade includes more than 2,600 hospitals. 32% earned an “A”, 25% earned a “B”, 36% earned a “C”, 6% a “D” and just under 1% an “F”. According to Leapfrog, patients at hospitals with a “B” rating on average face a 35% greater risk of avoidable death compared to patients who sought care at “A”-rated hospitals. 

Overlake has increased safety incident reporting by embracing a “Just Culture,” which cultivates an environment where staff feel they can report opportunities for improvement in the context of patient safety without fear of negative repercussions. Just Culture concepts have been enhanced by hospital programs such as “Good Catch”—interceptions of medication-related problems and other safety issues before they reach the patient. Leapfrog’s “A” rating specifically recognizes superior achievement in numerous areas, including: 

  • Effective leadership to prevent errors.
  • Staff work together to prevent errors.
  • Patient communication with doctors and nurses.
  • Communication about medications and discharge.