St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma has earned an “A” grade in the Fall 2017 Leapfrog Hospital Safety ratings, which uses 27 evidence-based measures of patient safety to assess over 2,600 acute-care hospitals nationwide.

In just six months, St. Joseph improved its score three letter grades to land an “A” rating.

“We’re committed to ensuring the safest possible care for every patient that comes through our doors,” said Syd Bersante, president of CHI Franciscan Health St. Joseph Medical Center. “At CHI Franciscan, excellent quality, safety and patient experiences are crucial components in our mission to build healthier communities here in the South Sound.”

The hospital recently implemented a number of safety measures to further lower the incidence rate of certain infections and injuries. Those measures helped St. Joseph Medical Center maintain high scores for preventing urinary catheter, MRSA, and surgical site infections, and improve infections caused by the bacteria C. difficile. The hospital also saw dramatic improvement in rates of hospital-acquired injuries like surgical wound openings, blood clots, and accidental cuts and tears.

In 2017, CHI Franciscan implemented its integrated safety program SafetyFirst to improve quality, safety, and patient experiences within its facilities. Other initiatives, like inviting patients and families to participate on quality and safety committees and including specific safety measures in performance evaluations, helped propel St. Joseph to its top ranking this fall.

 “Organizations like Leapfrog help us to continually evaluate and improve the way we deliver care. We are dedicated to improving access to safe, quality care and care outcomes, and that dedication is evident in this fall’s grades,” said Dr. John Krueger, Vice President of Quality, CHI Franciscan.

Other CHI Franciscan facilities improved their scores over the past six months, with St. Joseph’s seeing the most marked improvement. St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor also earned an “A” grade. Federal Way’s St. Francis Hospital and Bremerton’s Harrison Medical Center both earned “B” grades.