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SJMO Gets an "A" for Patient Safety
Start Date

St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Receives ‘A’ Grade For Patient Safety
In National Review Of Hospitals

Pontiac Hospital Joins Saint Joseph Mercy Health System Sister Hospitals in Earning Top Grades

Pontiac, Mich.—St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO) received an “A” grade for its ability to keep patients safe during a hospital stay, according to a new Hospital Safety Score released by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national non-profit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits.

SJMO was one of five hospitals in the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System to receive “A” grades from The Leapfrog Group’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel using publicly available data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors and infections.  Also receiving top grades were Chelsea Community Hospital, St. Joseph Mercy Livingston, St. Mary Mercy Livonia and St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor.  St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron received a “B” rating.

“Our commitment to patient safety is our top priority,” said Jack Weiner, SJMO President and CEO.  “This distinctive honor reflects the dedication and excellence of our physicians and associates to provide high quality care, a remarkable experience and the highest levels of patient safety.  The Hospital Safety Score reflects our unrelenting focus on teamwork and defining and implementing health care processes that make care safer and optimize patient outcomes.”

This is the second time in the past year that SJMO has been recognized by The Leapfrog Group.  In fall 2011, SJMO earned a “Top Hospital” designation for patient safety and quality of care.  SJMO is one of five Michigan hospitals to earn the distinction.

The “Top Hospital” designation, the most competitive national hospital quality award in the country, recognizes hospitals that deliver the highest quality care by preventing medical errors, reducing mortality for high-risk procedures like heart bypass surgery and reducing hospital readmissions for patients being treated for conditions like pneumonia and heart attack.

The selection as a “Top Hospital” is based on the results of The Leapfrog Group’s national survey that measures hospitals’ performance in crucial areas of patient safety and quality.  Participation in the survey is voluntary.

As a 2011 Leapfrog Group Top Hospital, SJMO met the following standards for safe, high quality care:

  • A hospital must fully meet Leapfrog’s standard for preventing medication errors.
  • A hospital must fully meet Leapfrog’s standard for intensive care unit physician staffing.
  • A hospital must fully meet Leapfrog’s standards for high-risk surgeries and procedures.
  • A hospital must achieve a Value Score of 69 or better as calculated through Leapfrog’s Hospital Recognition Program. SJMO’s Value Score placed the hospital in the top 10 percent of all hospitals surveyed.

SJMO also has won many other awards and honors for quality and patient safety.  Among them are:

  • American College of Radiology (ACR) three-year accreditation in Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Nuclear Medicine Services, representing the highest level of image quality and patient safety. 
  • Women’s Health Excellence Award, designating SJMO as Five-Star-Rated in Women’s Health.  Michigan’s first Certified Primary Stroke Center
  • Midas+ Platinum Quality Award for excellence in clinical health care
  • Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence
  • American College of Surgeons (ACS) Top Hospital for Exemplary Outcomes for Surgical Patient Care
  • Blue Cross, Blue Shield and Blue Care Network Blue Distinction® designations for Knee and Hip Replacement, Spine Surgery and Cardiac Care
  • Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) for our commitment to senior care excellence
  • ACS National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers three-year/full accreditation
  • ACR Breast Imaging Center of Excellence recognition
  • ACS Three-Year Approval with Commendation for cancer care
  • ACS Three-Year Accreditation in Ultrasound
  • American College of Radiology three-year term of accreditation in breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), representing the highest level of image quality and patient safety.

To research SJMO’s scores as they compare nationally and among other hospitals in the county, visit, keyword “Pontiac”, which also provides information on how the public can protect themselves and loved ones during a hospital stay.

Calculated under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group’s nine-member Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single score representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from infections, injuries and medical and medication errors. The panel includes: John Birkmeyer (University of Michigan), Ashish Jha (Harvard University), Lucian Leape (Harvard University), Arnold Millstein (Stanford University), Peter Pronovost (Johns Hopkins University), Patrick Romano (University of California, Davis), Sara Singer (Harvard University), Tim Vogus (Vanderbilt University) and Robert Wachter (University of California, San Francisco). 

“It’s The Leapfrog Group’s goal to give patients the information they need and deserve before even entering a hospital,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We congratulate the hospitals that earned an ‘A’ and we look forward to the day when all hospitals in the U.S. will earn the highest scores for putting patient safety first.”


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