The surgical team is part of the caregivers delivering A level patient care at UMMC Grenada.
The surgical team is part of the caregivers delivering A level patient care at UMMC Grenada.
Main Content

UMMC Grenada earns an A hospital safety grade from Leapfrog

Published on Monday, November 6, 2023

By: Rachel Vanderford,

Photos By: Joe Ellis/UMMC Photography

UMMC Grenada earned an A hospital safety grade from The Leapfrog Group, a historic first for the hospital. Leapfrog is among the most commonly used public metrics for evaluating quality of care and patient safety in hospitals across the nation. 

Twice per year, in fall and spring, Leapfrog assigns letter grades based on over 30 national performance measures reflecting errors; accidents; injuries and infections, as well as the systems hospitals have in place to prevent harm. 

LouAnn Woodward

“When we began the discussion of the Grenada location years ago, we envisioned providing the residents of that area with excellent, high-quality care at a more convenient distance than our main campus in Jackson,” said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs. “I want the people of Grenada and the surrounding counties to know that the hospital has been on a quality journey with an outcome that we are super proud of, and it will continue. More good things are on the horizon for Grenada.” 

Donna DiPaolo

Receiving this grade is a significant achievement for any hospital. However, for UMMC Grenada, it represents a remarkable dedication to improvement spanning multiple years. Dr. Donna DiPaolo, orthopedic surgeon and chief of medical staff for UMMC Grenada, said “accuracy and consistency” is what made the difference. 

“It’s all about expectation and engagement,” said DiPaolo. “The things we have been measuring and looking at have always been pretty consistent and I think this time all of our team members were engaged and challenged. So we were all growing in the same direction, and we were able to capture the data accurately.” 

“Earning an A grade means UMMC Grenada made a true commitment to put patients first,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We congratulate the leadership, Board, clinicians, staff and volunteers that all had a role to play in this achievement.” 

Patient Care Tech Lorraine Travis, left, and RN Annabelle Osborne are team members who contribute to exceptional quality care for inpatients.
Patient Care Tech Lorraine Travis, left, and Annabelle Osborne, registered nurse, are team members who contribute to exceptional quality care for inpatients.

Debra Beavers, chief nursing officer, contributes the most recent safety rating to a consistent focus on keeping the patient at the forefront of everything they do. “Our focus has been to build a quality infrastructure that engages team members at all levels of the organization toward a common goal of providing exceptional care to every patient, every time.”  

One example includes improvements within the surgical services. Tyler Blocker, certified registered nurse anesthetist, said the department has emphasized preoperative testing to ensure patients aren’t at risk for surgical complications. In addition, their focus on regional anesthesia has decreased the need for opiates for postoperative pain control which, in turn, decreases the length of a patient’s hospital stay and decreases the risk of pulmonary complications. 

“It’s exciting to see the data reflect what I have seen here on a daily basis,” Blocker said. “I’ve brought my family here from an hour and a half away to receive care because I think we do a really good job. I wouldn’t bring them here if I didn’t truly believe that.” 

Dodie McElmurray

“This A is well-deserved, and I’m honored to lead an organization that continually strives to improve the overall health of our community,” said Dodie McElmurray, UMMC Grenada CEO. “The physicians and staff at our hospital are passionate about caring for their neighbors and ensuring that every patient receives exceptional care. This recognition embodies a commitment to quality that will ensure the best possible health care for our community both now and in the future.”