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Dec 30, 2022

Nationally Recognized Healthcare? It’s Closer Than You Think.

Celebrate Hilton Head Magazine

Photography By

Paul Nurnberg
Beaufort Memorial earns 2022 Top Hospital award for outstanding quality and safety

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We all want access to Grade A healthcare. We know that achieving an “A” means a commitment to pursuing and achieving the best, which is especially important when you’re looking for medical services and care. And the best news: It’s right in our backyard.

Beaufort Memorial Hospital was recently named a Top General Hospital nationally by The Leapfrog Group, a national watchdog organization that is widely acknowledged as one of the toughest standard-setters for health care safety and quality. BMH is one of only three hospitals in South Carolina to earn the distinction.

The Leapfrog Top Hospital award is widely acknowledged as one of the most competitive awards American hospitals can receive. Granted to a select group of hospitals who have earned an “A” Hospital Safety Grade, only 5% of the nation’s hospitals were recognized as “Top” this year.

“To be recognized among the nation’s top five percent of hospitals for high quality and safe care is an honor, and our entire staff deserves the thanks and congratulations,” said Beaufort Memorial president and CEO, Russell Baxley. “This type of recognition can only be achieved with a hospital-wide commitment to safety, involving everyone from our housekeeping and food services staffs to the nurses, doctors, and technicians on our medical team. Their hard work and vigilance to keep patients, visitors and each other safe is central to the values we hold as an organization. I am proud to work alongside this amazing team.”

Beaufort Memorial President & CEO Russell Baxley (left) joined Corporate Director of Quality/Patient Safety Officer Ashley Hildreth; Patient Safety & Quality Specialist Allison Hmurciak; Vice President of Quality, Risk & Patient Safety Shawna Doran; Chief Nursing Officer Karen Carroll; and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kurt Gambla at last month’s Top Hospital awards ceremony. Only 5% of the hospitals in the nation were recognized as Top Hospitals for quality and safety for 2022.

Maternity and orthopedic care were among the top patient care areas for which Beaufort Memorial received recognition.

“The Birthing Center team’s consistent focus on and great pride in providing the best care to every mother and newborn is in part why Beaufort Memorial is being recognized,” said Dr. Gregory A. Miller, a board-certified OBGYN who delivers hundreds of babies at Beaufort Memorial each year. “We’re minimizing the need for cesarean deliveries and all the risks they pose to mother and child. Potential health concerns for new mothers are actively addressed. And our highly skilled team of nurses and pediatricians in the Level 2 nursery screen and treat babies for conditions before they result in harm, ensuring both mother and baby are delivered home safely.”

The quality of patient care across many areas of hospital performance is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including infection rates, practices for safer surgery, maternity care, and the hospital’s capacity to prevent medication errors.

“When compared to the rest of the nation, our team has a level of proficiency with all the aspects of patient care that are essential to a successful surgery,” said Dr. Edward Blocker, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and chair of orthopedics at Beaufort Memorial. “What that means for joint replacement patients is better outcomes and a shorter length of stay. It also means we see fewer complications and readmissions after surgery.”

For the last 10 years, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade has assigned letter grades to hospitals throughout the United States, based on a hospital’s ability to prevent medical errors and harm to patients. The grading system is peer-reviewed, fully transparent, and freely available to the public. Hospital Safety Grade results are based on more than 30 national performance measures and are updated each fall and spring. The most recent Hospital Safety Grades can be found at hospitalsafetygrade.org.

“We are honored to recognize Beaufort Memorial as a Top Hospital this year,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “Beaufort Memorial Hospital has demonstrated that they truly put patients first. We congratulate the board, staff, and clinicians whose efforts made this honor possible.”

Beaufort Memorial has been advancing hospital-wide patient safety efforts for many years, the results of which have garnered the organization state and national recognition. Currently, Beaufort Memorial is one of only three South Carolina hospitals with advanced certification for hip and knee replacement from The Joint Commission, the accrediting body for all hospitals in the nation.

This focus on safety continues to be especially important as the hospital embarks on a multi-million-dollar renovation and expansion of its Surgical Pavilion in Beaufort. The project will include the addition of two state-of-the-art surgical suites to accommodate the growing demand for advanced procedures, enlarge existing suites to optimize the surgical process, and attract top physicians.

“The caliber of staff at Beaufort Memorial Hospital is why we’ve been ranked in the top 5% across the nation for quality and safety,” Baxley said. “Everyone understands how important it is to provide safe, quality care to every one of our patients, and we allow safety to inform every intervention that occurs in our hospital.”

To learn more about Beaufort Memorial services and safety efforts, visit BeaufortMemorial.org.

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