Published on April 04, 2022

Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center earns prestigious patient-safety award

Highlighting our tenacious commitment to providing safe care, Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center has earned a Patient Safety Excellence Award from the company Healthgrades for a second consecutive year.

Healthgrades analyzed data “on more than 45 million Medicare medical claims records for the most recent three-year time period available for nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide.” The award recognizes hospitals in the top 10% for patient safety — those that are the best at preventing infections, other complications and medical errors.

St. Mary’s Medical Center is one of eight Minnesota hospitals to make the list and the only one in Northeastern Minnesota.

“Quality and safety are an everyday priority for every member of our staff,” says Dr. Gratia Pitcher, chief quality and patient safety officer at Essentia. “This award honors and reflects the efforts of our acute care colleagues who keep the patients we’re privileged to serve safe in every interaction.”

Healthgrades’ analysis found that a strong majority of patient-safety events (74%) occurred in one of four categories. According to Healthgrades, patients treated at a hospital receiving the Patient Safety Excellence Award were far less likely to endure one of these safety events than those treated at a non-recipient hospital.

Below are the four safety events. In parentheses are the percentages indicating the reduced likelihood of being affected.

• Collapsed lung due to a procedure or surgery in or around the chest (52.6% less likely).

• In-hospital fall resulting in hip fracture (55.8% less likely).

• Pressure sores or bed sores acquired in the hospital (66.2% less likely).

• Catheter-related bloodstream infections acquired at the hospital (65.8% less likely).