Patient Safety Excellence Award from HealthGrades



Patient Safety Events Cost the Medicare Program $6.9 Billion between 2005 and 2007

LAFAYETTE, La. (April 7, 2009) – Lafayette General Medical Center was identified as one of the recipients of the 2009 HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award™.  The top five percent of all hospitals in the U.S., 242 hospitals, were recognized with this award in a report issued today by the leading independent healthcare ratings organization. 

Other Louisiana hospitals receiving this 2009 Award are: Rapides Regional Medical Center, Alexandria; Saint Francis Medical Center, Monroe; Terrebonne General Hospital, Houma; Willis Knighton Medical Center, Shreveport.

According to the HealthGrades Study, patients at top-performing hospitals are 43% less likely to experience a medical error.  If all hospitals performed at the level of Patient Safety Excellence Award™ hospitals, approximately 211,697 patient safety events and 22,771 Medicare deaths could have been avoided while saving the U.S. approximately $2.0 billion from 2005 through 2007.

“We have put together many patient safety initiatives, and it is so exciting to receive this Award as confirmation of our employees’ commitment and hard work,” says David Callecod, president/CEO.  “We constantly stress that patient safety is the responsibility of ALL employees.

“As a recent example, our quality department instituted a patient falls training program in October, 2008.  Specifically working with a department where high rates of falls are common nationally, our Mental Health Unit has been able to cut their number of patient falls in half since this program began.  This is a perfect example of a patient safety initiative at its best!”

Nationally, during the course of the study, the overall incidence rate remained virtually unchanged compared to last year’s study. Between 2005 and 2007, 913,215 total patient safety events were recorded among Medicare beneficiaries, which represent 2.3 percent of the nearly 38 million Medicare hospitalizations. This equates to one reported patient safety event every 1.7 minutes. 

“I don’t know of any other industry where errors that cause harm are as accepted as they are in healthcare.  Every hospital across the country should continually strive for improvement until their rate of patient safety events is as close to zero as possible,” said Rick May, MD, senior physician consultant at HealthGrades and co-author of the study. “We congratulate Lafayette General Medical Center because they continually demonstrate their extraordinary commitment to the reduction of patient safety events.”

The sixth annual HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study applies methodology developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to identify the incident rates of 15 patient safety indicators among Medicare patients at virtually all of the nation's nearly 5,000 nonfederal hospitals. Additionally, HealthGrades applied its methodology using 12 patient safety indicators to identify the best-performing hospitals, or Patient Safety Excellence Award™ Hospitals, which represent the top five percent of all U.S. hospitals. HealthGrades developed this award to give patients more information about choosing a hospital.

HealthGrades’ individual hospital ratings can be viewed for free at

The following are the patient safety indicators studied:

  • Complications of anesthesia
  • Death in low mortality Diagnostic Related Groupings (DRGs)
  • Decubitus ulcer (bed sores)
  • Death among surgical inpatients with serious treatable complications
  • Iatrogenic pneumothorax
  • Selected infections due to medical care
  • Post-operative hip fracture
  • Post-operative hemorrhage or hematoma
  • Post-operative physiologic and metabolic derangements
  • Post-operative respiratory failure
  • Post-operative pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis
  • Post-operative sepsis
  • Post-operative abdominal wound dehiscence
  • Accidental puncture or laceration
  • Transfusion reaction

About Lafayette General Medical Center
As the largest, full-service, acute-care medical center in the nine parishes of Acadiana, Lafayette General Medical Center takes to heart its mission of improving, maintaining and restoring the health of people in the communities we serve.  LGMC is a community-owned hospital, so as such all profits are reinvested in the hospital for purchasing unsurpassed technology, maintaining a highly trained staff and adding new and improved services.  For more information, visit

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