Vidant Beaufort improves in performance score

Published 2:18 am Monday, November 7, 2016

Vidant Beaufort Hospital has bounced back from its ‘C’ rating in last year’s Leapfrog report.

After experiencing confusion over the last report, hospital officials are excited to see an ‘A’ rating this time around, which they say is more indicative of the hard work and improvements made over the past five years. The report released on Oct. 31 encompasses data from July 2013 to June 2015.

Out of the 2,600 general hospitals scored twice annually, Vidant Beaufort was one of approximately 400 to score an ‘A’ rating, according to a press release.

“It is our goal to come to work every day to be better than the day before,” said Harvey Case, president at Vidant Beaufort Hospital. “We take great pride in providing exceptional care to our friends, family and neighbors. This is what drives our voyage of excellence. I am proud of our employees for what they do every day to provide great care for our patients.”

The Leapfrog Group is a nonprofit that strives to improve health care across the United States, and it uses 30 different measures to score hospitals to represent their performance in keeping patients safe and avoiding medical errors, according to Leapfrog’s website,

“Leapfrog works under the guidance of the seven-member Blue Ribbon Expert Panel to select appropriate measures and develop a scoring methodology. The Expert Panel is made up of patient safety experts from across the country,” the website states.

According to the Leapfrog report, Vidant Beaufort scored well in categories such as surgical safety, preventing breathing problems and blood clots, preventing patient falls and communication with patients and hospital staff.

The hospital scored low on measures to prevent Clostridium difficile (C. diff bacterium) — although this score was close to the overall average score — and received its lowest score on having specially trained physicians for the intensive care unit.

Despite the low scoring for ICU, Pam Shadle, manager of marketing and public relations, said the hospital stands by its physicians.

“Hospitalists provide a standard level of care that is typical for community hospitals,” she said. “We do work with closely with Vidant Medical Center, and if needed, we transfer patients to a higher level of care that can be provided at VMC.”

Other hospitals in eastern North Carolina that received ‘A’ ratings include: Vidant Medical Center, CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern and Heritage Hospital in Tarboro. Hospitals in Wilson, Wayne and Lenoir counties received ‘C’ ratings.

Besides the Leapfrog rating, Vidant Beaufort was also one of 27 hospitals given Vizient’s 2016 Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award “for demonstrating superior performance as measured by Vizient’s Quality and Accountability Study,” according to a press release.

Vizient Inc. also is a company that aims to improving health care performance. The study included well over 200 medical centers or community hospitals from across the country, measuring safety, timeliness, effectiveness, efficiency, equity and patient centeredness, the release stated.

Vizient also recognized Vidant Beaufort as an “Outstanding Performer” in its Hospital Engagement Network and commitment to good outcomes for patients.

“Of course, we are extremely proud of our employees for the great care that they provide every day that has led to all of these recognitions,” Shadle said.

Amy Alligood, director of quality at Vidant Beaufort, said teamwork is a big part of the hospital’s recent accolades.

“Each day we focus on doing what is the best thing and the right thing for our patients,” Alligood said.