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DCHS earns ‘A’ grade for patient safety

Dickinson County Memorial Hospital

IRON MOUNTAIN — Dickinson County Healthcare System has earned an “A” in the fall 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, a national distinction recognizing the hospital’s achievements protecting patients from harm and providing safer health care.

It marks a return to the top level for Dickinson County Memorial Hospital, which received an A rating for patient safety from the Leapfrog Group for six consecutive years through spring 2018 but dropped to a B in fall 2018 and spring 2019.

The Leapfrog Group is an independent national watchdog organization driven by employers and other purchasers of health care committed to improving health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers.

The safety grade assigns an A, B, C, D or F to all general hospitals across the country based on their performance in preventing medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections and other harms to patients in their care.

“Our great staff works to ensure that every patient has the highest levels of care possible and the very best health care experience,” said Chuck Nelson, the new CEO for DCHS. “The Leapfrog recognition is an excellent confirmation that our system of care is stronger than ever.”

Developed under the guidance of a national expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to evaluate more than 2,600 U.S. acute-care hospitals twice per year.

In Michigan, 78 hospitals were graded — 32 earned an A, 21 earned a B, 18 earned a C, 7 earned a D and no F grades were recorded.

The only other Upper Peninsula hospital to earn an A in fall 2019 was UP Health System-Portage.

The only hospitals to receive straight A’s since the inception of the grades in 2012 are DMC Huron Valley-Sinai in Commerce Township and Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor.

For fall 2019, Michigan ranked 13th in the nation for percentage of A grades with 41% of the state’s graded hospitals receiving an A.

Servicing northern Wisconsin and the central Upper Peninsula for more than 68 years, DCHS is a 49-bed community hospital with a team of more than 60 active physicians that each year treats more than 150,000 patients. It employs more than 600 staff members.

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