A Raleigh hospital is rated tops in patient safety. Here’s how others locally compare.

A Raleigh hospital has again been named one of the best in the nation by a group that studies patient safety and care.

The Leapfrog Group’s latest report, released Wednesday and searchable by the public online, gave UNC Health Rex straight A’s after evaluating the hospital’s performance on more than two dozen measures in five categories of safety and care. Leapfrog issues the reports twice a year for nearly 3,000 general hospitals in the U.S., based on rates of preventable errors, accidents, injuries and infections, as well as the systems hospitals use to prevent those.

Leapfrog said Rex is one of only 15 hospitals nationwide — and the only one of 90 hospitals in North Carolina — to get straight A’s every year since the group began its evaluations in 2012. Last year, it noted 18 straight-A hospitals across the country.

The president of the Raleigh hospital will step down next month in order to pursue another opportunity, the health system said in a press release. ABC11
The president of the Raleigh hospital will step down next month in order to pursue another opportunity, the health system said in a press release. ABC11

“Across UNC Health, we focus on providing safe and excellent care to all patients,” Dr. Wesley Burks, CEO of UNC Health, said in a news release from the hospital after the ratings were announced. “In addition, we look at measurements like Leapfrog to help us constantly improve.”

Leah Binder, president and CEO of the non-profit Leapfrog Group, said, “Everyone who works at UNC Health should be proud of these ‘A’ Hospital Safety Grades. It takes complete dedication of at every level, and an ironclad commitment to putting patients first. I thank UNC Health, its leadership, clinicians, staff, and volunteers for caring so deeply for its patients and their safety.”

How did other area hospitals rate?

The Leapfrog Group gave these overall grades for other area hospitals:

A grades:

WakeMed Raleigh Campus

Duke Raleigh Hospital

WakeMed Cary Hospital

Rex Holly Springs Hospital

Duke University Hospital

Duke Regional Hospital

Person Memorial Hospital, Roxboro

B grades:

WakeMed North Hospital

UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill

Johnston Health Clayton

Johnston Health in Smithfield

Central Harnett Hospital, Lillington

Betsy Johnson Regional Hospital, Dunn

Maria Parham Health, Henderson

C grade

Central Carolina Hospital, Sanford

D grade

Granville Medical Center, Oxford

What trends appeared in the ratings?

In general, The Leapfrog Group found, hospital patient experience has declined since the pandemic and although there was some improvement during the last half of 2023 — the period measured in the most recent report — safety and patient care have not returned to pre-pandemic quality.

The report found notable improvements in the rates of certain kinds of infections, including central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, known as MRSA.

“While today’s results are promising, patient safety remains a crisis-level hazard in health care,” Binder said on the organization’s website. “Some hospitals are much better than others at protecting patients from harm, and that’s why we make the Hospital Safety Grade available to the public and why we encourage all hospitals to focus more attention on safety.”