Frye Among Top 5% in the Nation for Patient Safety 
Tuesday, 15 June 2010 
Frye Regional Medical Center was identified as a recipient of the 2010 HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award™, indicating that its patient safety ratings are in the top 5% of U.S. hospitals, in a new study released today by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization. Frye is one of only 238 hospitals in the country to receive this designation.

Medicare patients at hospitals receiving the HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award were, on average, 43% less likely to experience a patient safety event.

The seventh annual HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals study analyzed nearly 40 million hospitalization records from approximately 5,000 hospitals nationwide that participate in the Medicare program. Participation in the HealthGrades study is not voluntary, and hospitals cannot choose to opt out of the analysis.

If all hospitals performed at the level of Patient Safety Excellence Award™ hospitals like Frye Regional Medical Center, approximately 218,572 patient safety events and 22,590 Medicare deaths could have been avoided while saving the U.S. approximately $2.1 billion in excess costs from 2006 through 2008.

“I am extremely proud of our staff and physicians for their role in helping Frye achieve this designation,” said Frye CEO Michael Blackburn. “Patient safety is foremost on our mind.”

* Frye is one of 39 community hospitals in four states to be a part of the Duke Infection Control Outreach (DICON) Network, which provides benchmarking for Surgical Site Infections (SSI’s) and Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs). As a member of DICON, Frye receives consultative services and educational opportunities for staff and physicians, as well as information and evidence-based strategies to improve infection programs within the hospital.

“On behalf of HealthGrades I’d like to congratulate Frye Regional Medical Center for a track record of patient safety that is among the best in the nation,” said Rick May, MD, a vice president at HealthGrades and co-author of the study. “Hospitals like Frye Regional Medical Center are setting benchmarks of superior performance that we would like to see other hospitals emulate.”

The seventh annual HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study applies methodology developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to identify the incidence rates of 15 patient safety indicators among Medicare patients at virtually all of the nation's nearly 5,000 nonfederal hospitals. Additionally, HealthGrades applied its methodology using 12 patient safety indicators to identify the best-performing hospitals, or Patient Safety Excellence Award™ Hospitals, which represent the top 5% of all U.S. hospitals. HealthGrades developed this award to give patients more information about choosing a hospital.

In the HealthGrades analysis, the following are the patient safety indicators studied:

  • Complications of anesthesia
  • Death in low mortality Diagnostic Related Groupings (DRGs)
  • Decubitus ulcer (bed sores)
  • Death among surgical inpatients with serious treatable complications
  • Iatrogenic pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
  • Selected infections due to medical care
  • Post-operative hip fracture
  • Post-operative hemorrhage or hematoma
  • Post-operative physiologic and metabolic derangements
  • Post-operative respiratory failure
  • Post-operative pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis
  • Post-operative sepsis
  • Post-operative abdominal wound dehiscence
  • Accidental puncture or laceration
  • Transfusion reaction

*HealthGrades has also recognized Frye as Best in Overall Cardiac Care in the Charlotte Region in 2009 and as Five Star Rated in Coronary Interventional Procedures 2009-2010.

For nearly a century, Frye Regional Medical Center has provided sophisticated medical services to the residents of Hickory and central western North Carolina. From its modest origins, Frye has evolved into a major medical facility offering specialized care for complex needs. From the latest in minimally invasive heart surgery to laser-guided cancer treatment, Frye provides advanced diagnostics, medicine and surgery through a convenient network of hospital campuses and outpatient locations.

From the start, Frye operated with one simple goal: to offer the best possible healthcare to people in our region. This guiding principle, instilled by the hospital’s namesake Dr. Glenn R. Frye and his physician peers, is seen today as an unwavering drive for excellence among the medical staff, nurses, technicians and others who comprise the Frye family. They believe passionately in Frye’s commitment to care for the community and to do so by operating at the most exacting standards possible.

Frye Regional Medical Center is accredited by the Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest hospital accreditation agency.  To learn more about the hospital, visit For physician referral, call 828-315-3391.