Leapfrog lowers OCH safety grade to 'B'

OCH Regional Medical Center (submitted)

Some area hospitals saw improvement and others saw a slight drop in ratings by a health care industry mainstay that analyzes hospital safety across the country.

The spring 2018 safety grades for the Leapfrog Group were released on Tuesday, providing the public with the organization’s take on hospital safety, staffing and procedures.

OCH Regional Medical Center in Starkville saw its Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade fall from an ‘A’ in the fall of 2017 to a ‘B’ in the spring of 2018.

Baptist Memorial Hospital Golden Triangle got one of the highest grades among participating area hospitals, maintaining its ‘A’ grade along with Merit Health Gilmore Memorial in Amory.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade - which is updated every six months in the spring and fall - is calculated by patient safety experts and peer-reviewed, according to the organization.

Hospitals are not required by law to participate in the group’s research. Such is the case for North Mississippi Medical Center - West Point, which was not included among Mississippi hospitals in Leapfrog’s latest report.


While OCH Regional Medical Center’s rating fell to a ‘B,’ the score is still a drastic improvement from the ‘D’ grade the county-owned hospital received from the group for both the spring and fall of 2015.

The Starkville-based hospital performed above average in several categories, but Leapfrog rated the hospital’s performance below average for several subcategories. This included issues with surgery related to serious breathing problems; practices to prevent errors such as doctors ordering medications through a computer, communication about discharge and, finally, doctors, nurses and hospital staff as it related to specially trained doctor care for ICU patients.

“While a ‘B’ grade is above average, our goal is to maintain an ‘A’ grade,” said OCH Administrator and CEO Richard Hilton. “We are in a continuous state of quality improvement; therefore, we are actively analyzing the report and determining the course of action to regain our ‘A’ status.”

Conversely, OCH Regional Medical Center received above average marks for every subcategory as it relates to “safety problems,” which includes patient falls, dangerous bed sores and air or gas bubbles in a patient’s blood.

Hilton told the Starkville Daily News that OCH ranks within the top half of the 31 hospitals in the state participating in the Leapfrog safety scoring process.

“I know our staff is an ‘A’ staff and have complete confidence we can regain our ‘A’ grade,” Hilton said.


Baptist Memorial Hospital Golden Triangle has maintained its ‘A’ grade for several years and finished with above average marks in many of the subcategories provided by Leapfrog.

However, the hospital finished with below average scores in its approach to Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA); urinary tract infections; surgical site infections after colon surgery; serious breathing problems during surgery and communication concerning discharges.

Baptist Memorial Hospital Golden Triangle did manage to finish with above average ratings in all subcategories for doctors, nurses and hospital staff, along with all of the subcategories for safety problems.


NMMC-Tupelo saw its grade fall to a ‘B’ in spring 2018 from an ‘A’ in fall 2017.

Leapfrog gave the Lee County hospital below average grades for its approach to surgical site infection after colon surgery; death from serious treatable complications; issues with surgery relating to serious breathing problems; accidental cuts and tears during surgery; problems with communication about discharge; patient falls and the number of qualified nurses.


This Amory-based hospital has made strides in recent years to maintain its ‘A’ grade from Leapfrog, improving and holding its grade since receiving C’s for both spring and fall in 2015.

Merit Health Gilmore Memorial in Monroe County finished with above average scores in every subcategory with the exception of specially trained doctors caring for ICU patients, for which the hospital received a below average score.


• Baptist Memorial Hospital Golden Triangle (Columbus) - A

• Singing River Hospital (Pascagoula) - C

• Merit Health Gilmore Memorial (Amory) - A

• Magnolia Regional Health Center (Corinth) - A

• Rush Foundation Hospital (Meridian) - D

• Anderson Regional Medical Center (Meridian) - B

• North Mississippi Medical Center (Tupelo) - B

• Ocean Springs Hospital (Ocean Springs) - C

• OCH Regional Medical Center (Starkville) - B

• Baptist Memorial Hospital of Union County (New Albany) - B

• Garden Park Medical Center (Gulfport) - B

• Memorial Hospital at Gulfport (Gulfport) - B

• South Central Regional Medical Center (Laurel) - B

• Forrest General Hospital (Hattiesburg) - C

• Merit Health Wesley (Hattiesburg) - C

• Baptist Memorial Hospital - North Mississippi (Oxford) - A

• Highland Community Hospital (Picayune) - A

• University of Mississippi Medical Center Grenada (Grenada) - F

• Baptist Memorial Hospital DeSoto (Southaven) - D

• Merit Health River Oaks (Flowood) - B

• St. Dominic - Jackson Memorial Hospital (Jackson) - A

• University Hospital and Health System, University of Mississippi Medical Center (Jackson) - C

• Mississippi Baptist Medical Center (Jackson) - B

• Merit Health Central (Jackson) - D

• King’s Daughters Medical Center (Brookhaven) - A

• Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center (Mccomb) - A

• Northwest Mississippi Medical Center (Clarksdale) - B

• Bolivar Medical Center (Cleveland) - A

• Merit Health River Region (Vicksburg) - D

• Delta Regional Medical Center (Greenville) - D

• Merit Health Natchez (Natchez) - C