Which Charlotte hospital is the safest? Only one got an A.

Which Charlotte hospital is the safest? Only one got an A.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Cassie Cope | The Charlotte Observer and John Murawski | News & Observer) - Carolinas HealthCare System Pineville was the only Charlotte area hospital to receive an "A" grade in fall 2017 safety scores.

The Leapfrog Group graded 2,632 hospitals nationwide, awarding "A" grades to 832, or about a third.

Within 10 miles of uptown Charlotte, "B" grades were awarded to:

  • Carolinas Medical Center on Blythe Boulevard
  • Carolinas HealthCare System University
  • Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center

"Until our system can report zero incidents of infection or error, we will never be fully satisfied," said Tom Zweng, chief medical officer at Novant Health in a statement. "On an ongoing basis, a team of Novant Health physicians and clinical staff analyze our hospital acquired conditions and patient safety indicators to identify opportunities for improvement."

Only one hospital of the five in the Charlotte area earned below a B, Carolinas Medical Center – Mercy was graded a "C."

In the safety problems category, Mercy performed below average for patient falls. But the hospital, located on Vail Avenue, performed above average in other areas of safety problems, including preventing dangerous bed sores and air in blood.

In another category, "Doctors, Nurses, & Hospital Staff," Carolinas Medical Center – Mercy performed below average for enough qualified nurses, specially trained doctors care for ICU patients and responsiveness of hospital staff.

"Carolinas HealthCare System is dedicated to providing world-class, highest-quality care to our patients, families and communities," Carolinas said in a statement. "We are continually evaluating our performance to provide the best possible care for every patient."

Carolinas reviews many outside reports and feedback from its Patient and Family Advisory Councils, "to continue to ensure all of our patients receive safe, effective and timely care," the statement added.

In North Carolina, 34 out of 78 hospitals rated received an "A" grade, or nearly 44 percent.

Only one N.C. hospital received a "D," Sentara Albemarle Medical Center in Elizabeth City. No hospitals in North Carolina got an "F" in the survey, which is published twice a year.

The grades are based on safety data and represents "a hospital's overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors," according to Leapfrog, a nonprofit.

A patient should never refuse emergency hospital care because of a hospital's safety grade, but the grade can be used for planned procedures, according to Leapfrog. The organization said the key areas to look at are hand washing, patient falls and blood infections during a stay in intensive care.