News & Announcements

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Nationally Recognized With Another Leapfrog ‘A’ Hospital Safety Grade


Albany, Ga. – Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (PPMH) earned an ‘A’ in the fall 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction recognizing Phoebe’s achievements protecting patients from harm and providing safer healthcare.  “This year has been the most challenging year in generations for many healthcare organizations, including Phoebe.  I am proud of how the Phoebe Family has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am grateful that the Leapfrog Group has recognized our commitment to patient safety by awarding us our third straight top hospital safety grade,” said Joe Austin, PPMH Chief Executive Officer.

The Leapfrog Group is an independent national watchdog organization committed to healthcare quality and safety.  The Safety Grade assigns an ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’ or ‘F’ grade to all general hospitals across the country and is updated every six months.  It is based on a hospital’s performance in preventing medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections and other harms to patients in their care.

“We are extremely grateful to hospital leadership and healthcare workers who have remained steadfast in prioritizing patient safety as our nation battles COVID-19,” said Leah Binder, The Leapfrog Group President and CEO.  “This ‘A’ is a testament to the care and commitment of those who work for Phoebe.  With the current pandemic exposing existing flaws within the U.S. healthcare system, we appreciate you putting patient safety first. Lives depend on it.”

The COVID-19 pandemic, now worsening with surging cases in southwest Georgia and much of the country, highlighted how important it is for hospitals to truly live a culture of safety.  “Our fight against COVID-19 continues, but it has not distracted us from our commitment to patient safety.  If anything, it has enhanced our focus on the safety of our patients and our staff.  We are determined to provide safe, quality care to every patient every day by strictly following safety protocols and best practices of care,” said Steven Kitchen, MD, PPMH Chief Medical Officer.

Phoebe’s Safety First pledge is a system-wide commitment, as highlighted by the creation of two new senior system positions – Phoebe Putney Health System (PPHS) Chief Medical Officer and PPHS Vice President for Quality.  In those roles, Dianna Grant, MD, and Lisa Johnson, PhD, will lead efforts to standardize care and continue quality improvements at all Phoebe facilities.  “One of the most exciting projects currently underway is our journey to become a High Reliability Organization (HRO) with a goal of achieving zero patient harm.  We have done a lot of work already, and starting early next year, we will begin HRO training for every employee in our system to build a culture of reliability with a focus on safety.  We will create standard work habits, reinforce accountability and more closely scrutinize our improvement opportunities – all to ensure we are providing the safest possible environment for our patients,” Dr. Grant said.

Developed under the guidance of a national expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses up to 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. acute-care hospitals twice per year.  The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.

PPMH was awarded an ‘A’ grade this week when Leapfrog updated grades for fall 2020.  To see Phoebe’s full grade details and access patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit hospitalsafetygrade.org.

About The Leapfrog Group

Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care.  The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey and new Leapfrog Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Survey collect and transparently report hospital and ASC performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information, they need to make informed decisions.  The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog's other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

About Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital

Founded in 1911, PPMH is southwest Georgia’s comprehensive, regional medical center and the flagship hospital of PPHS.  Phoebe’s regional specialty centers include the state-of-the-art Phoebe Cancer Center, an advanced heart and vascular center, and a regional perinatal center serving premature babies and families from 22 counties.  In fiscal year 2020, PPMH treated 77,078 emergency patients, had 17,225 admissions, performed 12,765 surgeries and delivered 2,142 babies.  As a not-for-profit hospital, Phoebe reinvests revenue into community education and wellness programs, staff, facilities, and advanced medical technologies and treatments to serve people throughout the region.