CALDWELL, ID — West Valley Medical Center has once again received an “A” in the bi-annual
Hospital Safety Score published by The Leapfrog Group. West Valley was also recognized in fall 2014 with this top safety score. The designation recognizes exceptional performance in consistently meeting evidence-based patient safety guidelines. Of the 11 Idaho hospitals evaluated, West Valley is the only facility in the Treasure Valley to receive an “A” rating.

“We have a lot of the things to be proud of at West Valley and our Hospital Safety ‘A’ grade is one of them,” CEO Betsy Hunsicker said. “I thank our physicians and staff for all they do to advocate for our patients. This is a well-deserved tribute recognizing their teamwork in making West Valley the safest hospital in the area.”

The Safety Score is based on a combination of quality measures and safety processes. West Valley’s outstanding outcomes in the areas of mortality, evidence-based practice, re-admissions and infections contributed to the hospital’s “A” grade.

Additionally, several process and structure initiatives contribute to the high level of patient safety at West Valley Medical Center, including a multidisciplinary safety committee and participation in the STOP SSIs Project (Study to Optimally Prevent Surgical Site Infections) with The Joint Commission. In addition, investments in technologies like the HUGS infant security, computerized medication management systems and electronic physician order entry further ensure safety:

  • HUGS is a small electronic device placed on an infant’s ankle or wrist after delivery, as well as placed on every pediatric patient. The HUGS tag provides a secure area for pediatric patients by locking elevators and stairwell doors when they are close to them.
  • Computer medication management allows nursing staff to scan bar-coded bracelets worn by every hospitalized patient whenever medications are administered. It helps to make sure that patients are given the right medicine, in the right dosage and at the right time.
  • Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) allows physicians to enter orders electronically.

CPOE contributes to patient safety in many ways, including reducing errors that may result from illegible handwriting. This tool is recognized as a highly valuable technology for decreasing medical errors and reducing cost — and ultimately saving lives.

To see West Valley’s scores as they compare nationally and locally, visit the Hospital Safety Score website at This site also provides information on how the public can protect themselves and loved ones during a hospital stay.

Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls — one of only two other hospitals in the state to receive an “A” on the spring review — is also owned and operated by West Valley’s parent company, Hospital Corporation of America. The Hospital Safety Score was compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is designed to give the public information they can use to educate themselves and their families.

Calculated in collaboration with The Leapfrog Group’s nine-member Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score compiles 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data into a single “grade.” That score represents any hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from infections and injuries as well as medical and medication errors.