RALEIGH – Officials at WakeMed and Duke University are vowing improvements will be made after a health news site handed each a “B” or “C” for patient safety scores.

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit group focusing on improvements in healthcare,  released its grades on Wednesday, citing 27 different measures based on publicly available data. And several hospitals around the greater Triangle region scored “A”s, including five affiliated with UNC Health care.

Hospitals are scored on infections, problems with surgery, practices to prevent errors, safety problems and doctors, nurses and hospital staff.

Duke ‘disappointed’

Duke University Hospital was handed a “C,” snapping a streak of “A”s.

“Patient safety and quality care delivery have been a perennial hallmark of Duke University Hospital and remain our most important commitment to our patients,” said Dr. Thomas Owens, president of Duke University Hospital and senior vice president of Duke University Health System in response to a query from WRAL News.

“While we are disappointed with a ‘C’ in this particular six-month Leapfrog rating period, we understand the factors that drove this particular grade and believe that significant ongoing quality improvements will result in our return to an ‘A’ grade that we have earned for the past many rating periods.

“We value the quality and safety analyses provided by Leapfrog, as well as those performed in many other publicly reported surveys that continue to rate Duke University Hospital as one of the top hospitals in the country.”

The hospital had received six consecutive “A”s before this new report.

Duke Raleigh did receive an “A.”

Duke Regional also was assigned an “A” grade.

WakeMed gets B, C

WakeMed Raleigh, meanwhile, received a “B” and also rated a B in the five previous surveys preceded by a “C.”

WakeMed Cary scored a “C” after getting an “A” in the two most recent reports.

“As health care providers, our focus is on providing a safe and healing environment. Reducing our rates of hospital-acquired infections, falls with injury and other preventable harm events is a priority for us and something we will be focusing on significantly in a coordinated way in the coming months,” said Kristin Kelly Gruman, senior marketing and communications specialist, in a statement.

“Our goal is to achieve straight ‘A’s and keep our patients as safe as possible while in our care. We will all work together to get there.”

UNC grades an A

“A”s went to UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, UNC REX Healthcare in Raleigh, Johnston Health in Smithfield and Clayton, High Point Regional in High Point and UNC Rockingham in Eden.

“We are proud to provide safe and excellent care for all patients across UNC Health Care, and appreciate the Leapfrog recognition,” said Dr. Bill Roper, CEO of UNC Health Care. “We strive to constantly improve, and are committed to finding innovative ways to deliver the best care while reducing costs.”

UNC Rex has received an “A” since Leapfrog began publishing its score card in 2012.

“This is the only national rating of how well hospitals protect patients from preventable harm and death, such as medical errors, infections, and injuries,” said Leah Binder, CEO of Leapfrog, in announcing the results. “Receiving an ‘A’ Safety Grade means a hospital is among the best in the country for preventing these terrible problems and putting their patients first, 24 hours a day.”

Results for hospitals across North Carolina and the country can be searched online.