Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
New Brunswick • Somerset

Medical Center Earns "A" for Patient Safety

November 29, 2012

Somerset Medical Center was honored with an “A” Hospital Safety Score by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits.  The A score was awarded in the latest update to the Hospital Safety ScoreSM, the A, B, C, D or F scores assigned to U.S. hospitals based on preventable medical errors, injuries accidents, and infections.

The Hospital Safety Score was compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is designed to give the public information they can use to protect themselves and their families
. Only 790 of the 2,618 hospitals analyzed nationwide earned an “A” – the highest rating – in the latest update to Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Scores.

“Patient safety remains a top priority for everyone at Somerset Medical Center,” said Ken Bateman, president and CEO of Somerset Medical Center. “We continually advocate a culture of safety here at the Medical Center and focus on initiatives that improve patient safety. , We are constantly evaluating our performance across a broad range of criteria to identify ways in which we can continue to enhance the quality of patient care.”

“We’ve seen success from our patient safety initiatives,” said Mary Bollwage, vice president of risk management and quality services at Somerset Medical Center. “We’ve invested in advanced electronic information systems to achieve a full Computerized Physician Order Entry technology that reduces the risk of medication errors and facilitates expedient care.   We’ve implemented a comprehensive, multidisciplinary falls prevention program and enhanced infection prevention efforts to prevent hospital acquired infections.  Our rapid response team assures every clinician has access to immediate bedside resources when they are concerned about a patient who may be decompensating.  Our electronic event reporting and tracking system helps us stay on top of emerging issues so we can take action promptly to reduce the possibility of patient harm.  We also hold ongoing education programs for our physicians and staff, including an annual patient safety symposium where we host national experts on patient safety.”

“Hospitals like this that earn an A have demonstrated their commitment to their patients and their community,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “I congratulate Somerset Medical Center for its safety excellence, and look forward to the day when all hospitals will match this standard.”

To see Somerset Medical Center’s scores as they compare nationally and locally, visit the Hospital Safety Score website at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org, which also provides information on how the public can protect themselves and loved ones during a hospital stay. People can also check their local hospital’s score on the free mobile app, available at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.

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). 

To learn more about Somerset Medical Center’s patient safety initiatives, visit www.somersetmedicalcenter.com. For a physician referral, call 800-443-4605.

About Somerset Medical Center

Somerset Medical Center is a nationally accredited, regional medical center providing comprehensive emergency, medical/surgical and rehabilitative services and a broad range of community programs to Central New Jersey residents.  It is nationally recognized as a Magnet® hospital for nursing excellence. The medical center is an affiliate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a clinical research affiliate of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey.  For more information please visit www.somersetmedicalcenter.com.

About The Leapfrog Group

The Leapfrog Group (www.leapfroggroup.org) is a national nonprofit organization using the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for Americans. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey allows purchasers to structure their contracts and purchasing to reward the highest performing hospitals. The Leapfrog Group was founded in November 2000 with support from the Business Roundtable and national funders, and is now independently operated with support from its purchaser and other members.