Citrus County Hospitals - Citrus Memorial and Seven Rivers

Citrus Memorial Hospital in Inverness is on the left. Bayfront Health Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center in Crystal River is on the right

Area hospitals received their fall safety grades, with Citrus Memorial Hospital falling to a C and Bayfront Health Seven Rivers in Crystal River maintaining its C level for its safety care.

West Marion Community Hospital, a Hospital Corporation of America owned facility and the same company that operates Citrus Memorial, brought up its safety grade to an A

Oak Hill Hospital, also an HCA facility, once again received a B.

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The grades came from the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization that evaluates and rates hospitals, and which teamed with the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality to review health care outcomes submitted by hospitals across the country. Leapfrog assigns health grades to thousands of hospitals, grading them A through F.

Citrus Memorial had been consistently getting B safety grades since at least the Spring of 2018 before this latest C.

Here are some of the contributing factors that pulled the 204-bed hospital down to a C grade.

When it came to infections, the hospital received below average marks for its patients’ MRSA infections, Clostridium difficile infections, and blood infections.

According to LeapFrog, Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and fever. Clostridium difficile can be spread via contaminated equipment or by health care providers who fail to properly wash their hands between patients.

The hospital also scored below average in avoiding surgical site infections after colon surgery, according to the LeapFrog Group. The hospital did, however, score above average for avoiding sepsis infections after surgeries.

The hospital received above average marks when it came to surgeries and avoiding accidental cuts/tears, kidney injury after surgery, wounds splitting open, and objects left behind in patients’ bodies. But is also received below average marks because of patient deaths from serious treatable complications and serious breathing problems.

The hospital received below average marks for not avoiding patient dangerous bed sores and dangerous blood clots. Citrus Memorial received above average marks for avoiding patient harmful events, patient falls, falls causing broken hips, collapsed lungs, and gas bubbles in the patients’ blood.

For more information about Citrus Memorial’s safety grades, readers can go to https://tinyurl.com/3trubhf6

An estimated 160,000 lives are lost annually because of avoidable medical errors, according to the Leapfrog Group and Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.

As for Citrus County’s Seven Rivers hospital, the 128-bed hospital scored a C during the Fall of 2021, the same as it had in the spring.

When it came to infections during hospital stays, Seven Rivers scored below average for Clostridium difficile infections and blood infections. MRSA infection data was not available. The hospital scored above average for avoiding urinary tract infections, surgical site infections following colon cancer, and sepsis after surgeries.  

It was above average for not leaving dangerous objects in a patient’s body during surgery, ensuring wounds do not open, and avoiding accidental cuts and tears. But it scored poorly in other surgery categories such as dangerous blood clots forming after surgery and serious breathing problems occurring, and kidney injury after surgeries.

When it came to safety issues, the hospital scored above average for avoiding patients getting dangerous gas bubbles in their blood, avoiding dangerous blood clots, falls causing broken hips, and other harmful events. But it scored below average for patient falls and injuries, collapsed lungs. It was average in avoiding dangerous bed sores.

Bayfront Health spokeswoman Jennifer Siem said the hospital is working to improve and has made progress.

"The Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Grade is one of many resources consumers can use in consultation with their physician to make informed healthcare choices," she emailed the Chronicle. "Bayfront Health Seven Rivers earned a Leapfrog Grade C for Fall 2021.  Even though the grade is consistent with the Spring 2021 grade between the Spring and Fall reports we saw improvement in the numeric score used to calculate hospital letter grades."

Siem said that hospital data from the first three quarters of this year shows that Seven Rivers had no collapsed lung cases, no post-operative acute kidney injuries, no post- surgery wound openings, no post-operative sepsis cases, and no surgical site infections, 

"We aim for excellence and are committed to a path of improvement through consistent actions designed to improve our quality and safety performance," she said.

Some of these actions include:

  • Intensivist program within our Intensive Care Unit.  Intensivists have training and experience in treating critically ill patients.  
  • Medication reconciliation process with interdisciplinary team involvement.
  • Dedicated staff focused on reviewing processes and opportunities related to our hospitals Infection Prevention Program.
  • Utilization of disease-specific evidence-based practice order sets.

"Quality, safety and focusing on patient experience is a way of life at our hospital and genuinely encompasses everything we do," she said. "We appreciate the information that public quality reports provide and will continue using these to analyze and evaluate our processes and continuously improve."

Other area hospitals:

* AdventHealth in Ocala received a B

* Ocala Regional Medical Center received a B

* West Marion Community Hospital received an A

* UF Health Health The Villages Hospital received a C

* Oak Hill Hospital in Brooksville received a B

A Citrus Memorial Hospital representative was not immediately available for comment. 

Contact Chronicle reporter Fred Hiers at fred.hiers@chronicleonline.com or 352-397-5914.