Bristol Hospital receives 'B' grade for protecting patients from harm, error

Published on Friday, 19 November 2021 11:00


BRISTOL – Bristol Hospital has been assigned a B safety grade from an organization that rates hospitals across the country.

The latest grade is for the fall, as the Leapfrog Group – a national nonprofit organization committed to improving health care quality and safety for consumers and purchasers – assigns grades each spring and fall. Bristol Hospital since 2018 has received A’s or B’s from the group.

Bristol Hospital was among nine hospitals in Connecticut to receive a B. Ten others received a C grade, while two in the state were assigned a D. A total of eight hospitals were given an A this fall, including the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain. According to Leapfrog, this is the first time in years HOCC has received an A, as it had previously been assigned C’s and B’s since 2018.

Bristol Hospital officials this week noted Bristol did not submit an application to Leapfrog to be graded, as it has in previous years. The grade was based on public data that had been made available.

“We’re not doing anything intentional to impact that grade,” said Albert Peguero, Bristol Health’s performance excellence, business development and emergency preparedness manager. “I think if we tried, we could definitely get an A.”

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 hospitals across the country twice a year. The grades, made on an A through F scale, are assigned to hospitals based on their performance in preventing medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections and other harms to patients in their care.

Leisa Zadrick, systems director of quality and process improvement, said one of the reasons Bristol Hospital did not submit a grade application to Leapfrog is because the hospital over the last few years has shifted its focus to other recognitions.

This includes in 2020 being re-accredited as a Magnet organization – the highest achievable nursing care recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Bristol Hospital in 2015 first achieved its Magnet status – which is granted for four years. At the time, it was the only hospital in Hartford County to achieve the honors.

Last year, Bristol Hospital was re-accredited, notably having zero deficiencies and 11 exemplars. At the time, Bristol was one of six hospitals in Connecticut to hold Magnet status.

Bristol Hospital in 2020 also celebrated earning a Silver Recognition, achieving the feat in the ExcellenceNorth Alliance (ENA) Baldrige-based Awards and Recognition. This recognition – which is based on a healthcare system’s “commitment to safety, high reliability, transparency and the community it serves” – is awarded by the ENA, a nonprofit that helps organizations achieve its goals, in partnership with Partners in Performance Excellence, a nonprofit that does assessments, recognition, workshops and other efforts to support performance excellence.

Zadrick and Peguero added Bristol Hospital just last month celebrated a safety and high-reliability milestone, surpassing the 1,000 day mark since its last “serious safety event.” A serious safety event is defined as “a situation where best or expected practice does not occur, resulting in moderate to severe harm to a patient.” As of this week, Bristol Hospital had kept its streak going in preventing such an event.

Zadrick said one of the ways Bristol Hospital assures such quality care is by taking what it calls an “OR Timeout.” This occurs before an operating room procedure and includes doctors, nurses and other staff verifying things like the patient’s credentials, the specific procedure that is taking place, the precise site of the procedure and other information.

Zadrick said the timeout helps prevent things like a wrong side surgery and other potential errors.

“It’s a staff-driven effort to bring a multi-disciplinary team to the patient’s bedside,” Zadrick said.

Bristol Hospital officials added that the facility has never been penalized for a hospital-acquired infection under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services program.

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Friday, 19 November 2021 11:00. Updated: Friday, 19 November 2021 11:02.