Wilkes Medical Center is among 460 short-term acute care hospitals across the nation that received this year’s Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Awards in mid-May.

The award is based on how well a hospital prevents injuries, infections and other serious conditions based on 14 “serious, potentially preventable adverse events.”

It recognized hospitals with the least of each of these 14 events during the period 2015 through 2017, using inpatient data from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Performance is indicated with a star rating in each of the 14 categories, based on whether a hospital performed statistically better than, the same as, or worse than any hospital would be expected to perform for each of these.

Healthgrades said the 460 short-term acute care hospitals that received Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Awards emerged from the process as the top 10% in the nation for patient safety based on these criteria.

About 20 short-term acute care hospitals in North Carolina were among the 460. In addition to Wilkes Medical Center, they included Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, Northern Hospital of Surry County in Mount Airy and Watauga Medical Center in Boone and Novant Health Medical Park Hospital in Winston-Salem.

The 14 “serious, potentially preventable adverse events” considered for the award are:

• death following a serious complication after surgery;

• death in procedures where mortality is usually very low;

• pressure sores or bed sores acquired in the hospital (pressure ulcer rate);

• collapsed lung due to a procedure or surgery in or around the chest;

• catheter-related bloodstream infections acquired at the hospital;

• hip fracture following surgery;

• excessive bruising or bleeding as a consequence of a procedure or surgery;

• electrolyte and fluid imbalance following surgery;

• respiratory failure following surgery;

• deep blood clots in the lungs or legs following surgery;

• bloodstream infection following surgery;

• breakdown of abdominal incision site;

• accidental cut, puncture, perforation or hemorrhage during medical care

• foreign objects left in body during a surgery or procedure.

A hospital is ineligible for the award if one foreign object is left in patient’s body during a surgery or procedures.

Healthgrades is a Denver, Colo.-based firm that provides online information about physicians and hospitals.

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