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Fargo hospitals receive ‘B’ grade for safety

FARGO — Essentia and Sanford hospitals here received a “B” grade for safety in a recent national study.

Essentia and Sanford Health scored close to average in patient safety and preventing “hospital acquired conditions” such as falls and injuries sustained while in the hospital’s care, according to

In the category of “falls and trauma” which records falls, burns, broken bones and other injuries patients suffered while under the care of a hospital, Essentia scored a .51 and Sanford scored .228. These are rates per 1,000 patients discharged.

The average national score was .54, while the worst score in the nation was 2.042.

Essentia scored 97.9 in the same category of “deaths resulting from serious treatable complications after surgery,” and Sanford scored 124.37.

The best-scoring hospital in the category of deaths from treatable complications was 54.89.

The overall grade of the hospitals was based on information acquired from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and national hospital surveys such as the 2012 Leapfrog Hospital Survey.

Darren Huber, director of media relations at Sanford in Fargo, said the Leapfrog Group is a reputable organization that promotes transparency of performance information and makes it understandable to the public.

While Huber said Sanford believes the studies such as those by the Leapfrog group are a good thing, safety marks do not necessarily reflect quality health care.

“(The study’s) focus is safety, the data that make up the score have some limitations,” Huber said in a statement. “There is a relatively small pool of publicly reported national measures available to assess hospital safety, it’s often out of date, so the data has some inconsistencies.”

An Essentia Health spokesperson was unavailable for comment Friday.

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