Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The administration and staff at Missoula’s Providence St. Patrick Hospital have received yet another prestigious award for quality and safety.

I spoke with Chief Medical Officer Dr. James McKay this week about the latest award.

St. Pat's Gets Another 'A' Grade for Safety from Leapfrog

“We're happy to announce that ‘Leapfrog’, who is an independent, nonprofit watchdog organization that grades hospitals on their quality and safety has given us their highest grade, that’s an ‘A’ Grade for the 15th time,” began Dr. McKay. “What they look for is really best practices and it's all about creating the highest quality and preventing harm. So as you know, a hospital is a very complex environment, and there's a lot of risk for error, so the importance of high reliability and attention to detail is super important.”

Dr. McKay pointed out some specific areas where the hospital scored high.

Dr. McKay Counted All the Satisfaction Scores for St. Pat's

“They look at a variety of things, including patient satisfaction scores,” he said. “They look at infections that might happen in the hospital; they look at any serious safety events that might happen in the hospital; basically anything that has to do with any kind of harm, such as medication safety, maternity care, pediatric care, critical care, and surgical care. Everything that has to do with safety, they look at a large number of different factors.”

Dr. McKay was also gratified to see so many people return for the latest Heart Expo on April 6, and provided an update about the next event.

“The Heart Expo is a great thing, and we're really happy we're able to bring that back,” he said. “We did it last year, on a somewhat more limited basis, and also opened it up this year. “Now, next year will be even a larger event and we'll probably be going back to February next year, which traditionally is when we offered the Heart Expo. It really is about keeping people healthy and actually out of the hospital.”

READ MORE: Newsweek Names Missoula Hospital the Best in Montana

Once, they got a 'B', but They Improved to an 'A' the Very Next Time

Getting back to the latest ‘A’ grade from Leapfrog, Dr. McKay looked back to a time when they actually got a ‘B’.

“We're really used to getting A's, so a while back when we got a ‘B’, and that felt like an ‘F’ to us,” he said. “But, that didn't last long, because we're back to an ‘A’ the next time around. But, it really is not about doing it for the grade. It's really about focusing on the patients because I speak for myself and everyone that works here, this is where our families come, our friends or neighbors, so we want to make sure we provide the highest care possible.”

Read all the details on the latest ‘A’ grade for Providence St. Patrick Hospital here.

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