The Leapfrog Group was formed in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers of healthcare services. It is a well-respected national nonprofit organization that advocates for improvements in the quality and safety of American healthcare. The Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and reports hospital performance, and it has just released the 2017 survey. For hospitals within 50 miles of Roanoke, Virginia the results are mixed, at best.
Two important survey results stand out:
1. Many hospitals refused to provide data for the survey including Centra Bedford Memorial Hospital, Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital (Rocky Mount, VA), Carilion Giles Community Hospital (Pearisburg, VA), Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital (Lexington, VA), Centra Lynchburg General Hospital, Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital (Lynchburg, VA), and Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick County (Stuart, VA).
If you are looking for a hospital to provide good competent medical care, you have to ask yourself why did these hospitals refuse to provide information for this survey. I think we all know the answer.
2. Of the hospitals that provided responses to the survey, the following received poor grades for having specifically trained doctors to care for the most vulnerable of patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU): Carilion New River Valley Medical Center (Radford, VA), Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, LewisGale Hospital – Alleghany (Low Moor, VA), LewisGale Hospital – Montgomery (Blacksburg, VA), LewisGale Hospital – Pulaski, and Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County.
The lack of necessary medical specialists should concern all of us. The ICU is a special part of the hospital that provides care for extremely ill patients. Hospitals should have special doctors called intensivists working in the ICU. Intensivists are physicians with advanced training in intensive or critical care. They learn to manage problems in the ICU and help to reduce errors. The Leapfrog Group reports there are higher death rates in hospitals where ICU patients are not cared for by intensivists. Those of us who call western Virginia home deserve better.
Read the survey results here.