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Vanderbilt University Hospital and Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital receive top safety grade from Leapfrog Group

May. 11, 2022, 2:22 PM


by Doug Campbell

Both Vanderbilt University Hospital (VUH) and Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital have been recognized as being among the safest hospitals in the nation after receiving a spring 2022 safety grade of “A” from the Leapfrog group.

Leapfrog is a coalition of public and private purchasers of employee health coverage that works to encourage health care safety, quality and affordability.

Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score uses numerous measures of publicly available hospital data to produce a single score representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from infections, injuries and medical errors.

These measures come from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Leapfrog Hospital Survey and secondary data sources such as the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey and Information Technology Supplement. The measures are weighted and then combined to produce a single composite score that is published as an A, B, C, D or F letter grade.

“To have both Vanderbilt University Hospital and Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital achieve ‘A’ scores is truly an achievement,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Leapfrog scores are not achieved through a popularity contest but are awarded based on a steadfast commitment to a wide range of performance outcomes that are meaningful to patients and their families. I want to congratulate and express my gratitude to everyone for earning these top scores.”

To determine a safety grade, Leapfrog not only looks at outcome measures, but also processes measures such as staff responsiveness and structural measures like the overall hospital environment and how thoroughly technology is embedded into the delivery of care.

“Achieving the Leapfrog Safety Grade of A is distinguishing VUMC from our peers in our unrelenting pursuit of safe, reliable care for our patients and families,” said Jenny Slayton, DNP, RN, Senior Vice President for Quality, Safety and Risk Prevention at VUMC. “This achievement would not be possible without the ongoing commitment from all team members helping keep our patients safe. We are so proud of the Vanderbilt University Hospital and Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital teams on achieving this designation.”

Shon Dwyer, MBA, RN, President of VUH, said the recognition reflects tireless dedication to quality and safety.

“Our faculty and staff are fully engaged in our journey to zero harm for our patients. It is through teamwork and relentless focus on improving our systems and processes that these outcomes are possible. Congratulations to all who have persevered through the pandemic and continued to provide stellar care,” Dwyer said.

Rich Ellis, President of Vanderbilt Tullahoma-Harton Hospital, said it’s an honor for the hospital to be recognized as one of the safest in the state.

“This recognition shows that we have highly dedicated, compassionate and professional people working here at VTHH. This achievement is especially meaningful to us because it comes at such a challenging time in health care.”

Ellis credits the effort of the entire staff — doctors, nurses, environmental service workers, techs, and others — as well as the support from VUMC for the success.

“We’ve been resilient and have worked together to support our patients, the community and each other,” Ellis said.

In the recent survey, nearly 3,000 hospitals across the nation were assigned grades of A, B, C, D or F for safety, and only 30% received an “A.”

The safety score for each hospital can be found at

Leapfrog members provide health benefits to more than 37 million Americans in all 50 states.

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