Mercy Hospitals in Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas each received a safety grade of “A” from the Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog group. Mercy also recently ranked as one of the top five large U.S. health systems in the 2018 Watson Health Top 15 Health System study. This is the third time Mercy made the Watson Top 15.
“I’m proud that Mercy continues to be recognized by these respected organizations because it reflects on every co-worker’s dedication to safety and quality care,” said Eric Pianalto, president of Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas. “We don’t do this because of ratings, but because our mission calls us to provide the best care to those entrusted to us.”
Some of the metrics used in these rankings include shorter hospital stays, fewer complications and better overall patient results. Higher patient satisfaction and better patient safety and costs of care were also part of the scoring metric.
“Mercy Hospital Fort Smith leaders, medical staff and all co-workers have worked tirelessly to ensure our patients receive the best and safest care possible,” said Ryan Gehrig, hospital president. “Just two examples are our unique seasonal flu clinic and more than 200 new patient beds that help reduce falls with an advanced alert system. As a result, the hospital increasingly is being recognized by others for its laser focus on exceptional patient care.”
Mercy Fort Smith and Northwest were two of only three hospitals in the state to receive Leapfrog’s top A grade. Leapfrog assigned letter grades to 2,500 hospitals around the country. The Watson study analyzed 338 health systems and 2,422 hospitals across the U.S. Mercy competes in the large health system category and was one of five winners that also included: Mayo in Rochester, Minn., Sentara Healthcare in Norfolk, Va., St. Luke’s Health System in Boise, Idaho, and UCHealth in Aurora, Colo.
While Mercy hospitals in Arkansas had a strong showing, the Watson study ranks the state of Arkansas in the next to the lowest quartile for overall hospital performance. Surrounding states of Missouri ranked in the top quartile as did Texas. Oklahoma ranked in the second highest quartile and Louisiana ranked in the third highest quartile which was still higher than Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.