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Alpena hospital gets an A for safety

News File Photo MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena pharmacist Sarah Tarkington and Pharmacy Manager Laura Caplis prepare the COVID-19 vaccine before it is administered at the hospital in this 2020 News file photo.

ALPENA — Alpena’s hospital has again scored highly in a national safety ranking.

MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena received an A in spring 2021 rankings from the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit hospital watchdog organization based in Washington.

The Alpena hospital also received an A in fall 2020, vastly improved from its C rankings throughout 2019.

The Midland-based MidMichigan Health owns the Alpena hospital. Leapfrog also awarded an A to the group’s flagship hospital in Midland and gave B’s to the MidMichigan hospitals in West Branch and Gratiot.

“The annual recognition from Leapfrog continues to have a special meaning to all of us here at MidMichigan Health as our teams across the system continue to encounter challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Diane Postler-Slattery, president and CEO of MidMichigan Health, said in a statement. “We continually review best practices in patient safety to strengthen our quality and performance measures. It’s a commitment we look at each and every day and we won’t let up on it no matter what’s in front of us.”

MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena scored above-average in its efforts to prevent most common infections, most common surgical mishaps, all categories on general safety practices such as handwashing and communicating with patients about medications, and most categories in staff management.

It scored below-average in a handful of categories, including preventing serious breathing problems and dangerous blood clots after surgery, preventing patient falls and injuries, and putting specially trained doctors in care of intensive care unit patients.

Among hospitals across Michigan, about 44% received an A in the spring 2021 rankings, according to Leapfrog, putting the state 10th in the nation for hospital safety. The state ranked 14th in fall 2020.

Massachusetts hospitals ranked the safest, with about 57% of hospitals getting an A, while North Dakota and South Dakota hospitals ranked the least-safe, without a single A hospital in either state.

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