Mayo’s A grade a recognition of care

Published 1:01 pm Saturday, November 9, 2019

On Thursday, it was announced that several hospitals and clinics within the Mayo Clinic Hospitals network received A ratings from the nonprofit Leapfrog Group, which included Mayo Clinic Health Systems — Austin and Albert Lea as well as Mayo Clinic Health Systems — Mankato and Mayo Clinic Health Systems — Red Wing.

Eight sites in all received this grade, including Mayo Clinic sites in Arizona and Florida.

The announcement comes at a time when the two sites in Austin and Albert Lea are going through several changes as Mayo reorders it’s services among the two hospitals, including the birthing center, which has been moved to Austin.

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On top of that, the rating comes at a time when the Austin site is in the midst of a renovation.

“I think that makes our recognition impressive in a way that reflects the resiliency of our staff,”  said Dr. Sumit Bhagra, medical director of Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and Austin. “We’re doing our best work even through change.”

Hospitals are rated through Leapfrog by a variety of 28 metrics, including safety issues and how staff operates its hospital in a safe and efficient way.

Bhagra noted that just 33 percent (1-in-3) of hospitals receive the A rating.

The ratings are given out every six months.

“This really reflects a rising need for transparency,” Bhagra said.

This is not the first time that Mayo sites have received such high grades. Earlier this year, Austin-Albert Lea received a grade of B and in 2018, they received A’s in both gradings.

The Mankato site’s A-grade is a jump from even earlier this year when it was graded with a C. In 2018 they received grades of C and B. The last time it received an A-grade was the first grading of 2017.

Red Wing has consistently received A-grades, aside from a dip to B earlier this year.

“What that means to the lay person is compared to an A rated hospital, if they go to a C-rated hospital there is an 88 percent higher risk of mortality,” Bhagra said, echoing findings from Leapfrog. “It could be twice as much if you go to the hospital with a D or an F grade.”

It continues to be an indicator of the care given at Mayo hospitals, Bhagra said.

“Mayo Clinic has been consistently ranked among the top,” Bhagra reflected. “Name any benchmarking group, non-profit, Mayo is consistently on the top.”

Bhagra added that this rating is a consistent reflection of the goals Mayo is trying to reach in order to be the top hospital for patient care.

“Mayo is a model for the care that people strive to reach across the country,” he said.