Wheeling Hospital ranks among the nation’s safest

WHEELING – One local hospital has put Wheeling on the map for health care safety.

Wheeling Hospital officials announced Thursday the hospital ranks among the safest health care organizations in the nation, according to SafeCare Group.

Among the more than 4,500 acute care organizations in the country, only 100 made the cut in the 100 SafeCare Hospitals ranking. No other hospital in the region or the state of West Virginia made the list.

While announcing the designation Thursday, Wheeling Hospital Chief Executive Officer Ron Violi, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Angelo Georges and Director of Quality Management Heidi Porter credited the recognition to the hospital’s high standards.

“Among (factors considered for recognition) is the ability to keep in-hospital and surgical infection rates very low,” Violi said. “These types of accomplishments are due to our staff members’ commitment to maintaining a premium level of patient care. They deserve our thanks.”

Georges echoed Violi’s statements and said Wheeling Hospital will continue to further its safety efforts and improve infection rates.

“We’re not going to stop here,” Georges said.

Involved in the SafeCare selection process is a comprehensive analysis of publicly available data. SafeCare Group, based in Lexington, Ky., made its selections based on more than 30 key measures covering the triple aims of excellence in health care: Quality, patient safety and efficiency of care.

“Triple aim is a framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to derive better health care value and quality,” Porter said. “IHI research shows that focusing on three critical objectives simultaneously can lead to better models for providing health care.”

Hospitals included among the 100 SafeCare Hospitals had the lowest risk-adjusted rates of complications in medical and surgical care; lowest rates of in-hospital infections; lowest rates of surgical infections; lowest risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality rates; lowest readmission rates; lowest overutilization of radiation tests; highest care processes; and highest patient satisfaction scores.

Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie congratulated the hospital, adding he is proud to have such a facility in the city.

“This benefits Wheeling’s citizens, potential residents and our businesses,” he said. “It also strengthens the fact that Wheeling is a great place to live. We not only have good health care here, but with Wheeling Hospital we have the very best health care there is.”

“It’s a very, very happy time for us,” Georges said.

According to SafeCare, if all U.S. hospitals attained the 100 SafeCare level, more than 100,000 deaths and 400,000 preventable complications would have been prevented.