Elaine Storrs of Springfield Regional Medical Center talks about how the new “Rosie the Robot” uses ultra violet light to kill germs in the patient rooms. Bill Lackey/Staff

Springfield hospital receives ‘C’ grade from industry watchdog report

The Springfield Regional Medical Center maintained its C safety grade from a health-care advocacy group.

The Leapfrog group, which releases its Hospital Safety Grade report twice a year, provided a C grade for the hospital based in a report released last week . The hospital received similar grades in the fall and spring last year.

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The report uses a letter grade to rate facilities on a range of measures, from preventing infections to communications between doctors and patients. Hospital staff declined an interview request, but provided written responses to the questions from the Springfield News-Sun.

The downtown Springfield hospital has made strides in improving its score, said Elaine Storrs, chief quality officer for Community Mercy Health Partners. The hospital is providing additional data now that won’t be reflected until this fall, she said.

“We anticipate seeing improvement in categories such as hospital-acquired infection rate,” Storrs said. “We’re seeing positives results since we implemented our Xenex germ-zapping robot.”

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The hospital began using a Xenex robot last year that uses ultraviolet rays to sterilize surfaces. It can kill germs that cause Ebola, MRSA, norovirus and other illnesses. Springfield Regional’s robot is nicknamed Rosie. After rooms are cleaned by hand, the robot is wheeled in to kill any germs that might be left behind.

Several other hospitals in the region were also ranked in the report, including Mary Rutan Hospital in Bellefontaine, which received a C. Greene Memorial Hospital in Xenia received an A ranking while the Soin Medical Center in Beavercreek earned a B, according to the nonprofit.

The Leapfrog report is one of numerous sources that provide information about medical care to consumers, said John Palmer, director of public and media relations for the Ohio Hospital Association.

“Healthcare consumers are becoming more educated through various means,” Palmer said. “This is just one source that’s available to health care consumers about a hospital.”

The report provides information from a snapshot in time, he said, and consumers should also consult with their primary care physician and specialists, and consider other factors when making a health-care decision.

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In Springfield, Storrs said the hospital expects to see improvement in hospital-acquired infections once additional data is submitted for the next report to be released this fall. The hospital has shown improvement in preventing both infections and falls, she said, but staff members continuously look for ways to improve in those areas.

“We’ve earned the best possible scores for preventing infection in the blood and urinary tract in the intensive care unit,” Storrs said. “Our care providers do an outstanding job of managing our central lines, which are tubes inserted into the body to deliver medications and other treatments.”

The hospital also received above-average scores on issues like preventing blood clots after surgery and preventing accidental cuts and tears.

On the other end, the latest Leapfrog report showed Springfield Regional Medical Center received the lowest possible score for having specially trained doctors care for intensive care patients, and below average scores for communication between doctors and nurses and patients. The Leapfrog report recommends hospitals staff intensivists, which are physicians with advance training in critical care.

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Storrs said the hospital’s staff provides excellent care for its ICU patients, regardless of the report’s score.

“We have highly trained pulmonologists and hospitalists who provide exceptional care for ICU patients,” Storrs said.

The Leapfrog report relied only on publicly available data, Storrs said, but the hospital will begin providing additional information voluntarily, which is expected to be reflected in the next report scheduled to be released this fall.

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