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Our relentless focus on safety and quality

Posted in: Quality & Safety

Leapfrog Grade “A”

University of Michigan Health-West is a leader in patient safety and quality of care because of our team approach to excellence and continuous improvement.

Fall 2021 marked the third consecutive “A” Hospital Safety Grade U of M health-West earned after evaluation by the Leapfrog Group, a national independent watchdog organization.

Leapfrog assigns grades, A-F, to general hospitals based on over 30 measures of errors, injuries, accidents and infections, as well as systems to prevent harm. Grades are updated twice annually, and U of M health-West was the only Grand Rapids-area hospital to earn the top grade the past three seasons.

Dr. Ronald Grifka, chief medical officer, said the recognition is a testament to the entire staff’s commitment to safety and continuous quality improvement. More important than the grade, he said, is the dedication that makes it possible.

“The goal is to be really good at taking care of people – and then you’ll get the grade of A,” Grifka said. “And so, every day begins with us asking, ‘how can we do a little better than we did the day before?’ When you can continue improving every day, you are headed in the right direction.”

Stacie Bommersbach, vice president of quality & patient safety, noted that the consistency in earning the top grade is especially gratifying because it shows a relentless emphasis on keeping patients safe amid the historic challenges of the pandemic.

“We’ve continued our laser focus on preventing hospital errors and our commitment to quality and patient safety,” she said. “You don’t get the big accomplishments without paying attention to all the small details.”

The safety recognitions reflect University of Michigan Health-West’s capabilities to treat increasingly complex cases, Bommersbach said. The organization is adding advanced services, including open-heart surgery, and is gaining additional recognition as a leader in areas such as surgical quality.

University of Michigan Health-West recently was recognized by the Michigan Surgical Quality Collaborative as a statewide leader in shorter hospitalizations following surgery. The organization also recently earned a Platinum Performance Achievement Award in the Chest Pain – MI Registry by the American College of Cardiology.

Getting better as a team is a constant at University of Michigan Health-West, Bommersbach said.

“We want all patients to know they can be assured of the highest quality and safety when they come to us,” she said.