Watauga Medical Center Earns An ‘A’ Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group

Watauga Medical Center earned an “A” Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit watchdog that sets standards for excellence in patient care.  Leapfrog assigns an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” or “F” grade to general hospitals across the country based on over 30 national performance measures reflecting errors, accidents, injuries and infections, as well as the systems hospitals have in place to prevent harm.

“We are consistently working to ensure all who enter our facilities are safe from harm. Once again, it is great to have Watauga Medical Center recognized with an A from Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades. I commend our staff on their outstanding work to keep patients safe, while maintaining exemplary care,” stated Chuck Mantooth, President and CEO of UNC Health Appalachian.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is the only hospital ratings program exclusively based on hospital prevention of medical errors, infections and injuries that kill more than 500 patients a day nationally. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. Grades are updated twice annually in the fall and spring.

“Earning an ‘A’ Grade means Watauga Medical Center made a true commitment to put patients first,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We congratulate the leadership, Board, clinicians, staff and volunteers that all had a role to play in this achievement.”

To see Watauga Medical Center’s full grade details and to access patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit HospitalSafetyGrade.org and follow The Leapfrog Group on Twitter, Facebook and via its newsletter.


About Watauga Medical Center

Watauga Medical Center, a member of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, is licensed as a 117-bed regional referral medical complex, offering both primary and secondary acute and specialty care. Services include laboratory, imaging, radiology, physical and occupational rehabilitation therapy, respiratory therapy, surgical services, cancer treatment, heart and vascular services, sleep services, pain management, and emergency services. The medical center is certified by The Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center and earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Chest Pain Certification in 2018. The Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center, located on the campus of Watauga Medical Center is recognized as an approved community cancer care center by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. In July 2022, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System entered into a long-term Management Services Agreement (MSA) with UNC Health. This affiliation enables transformational change in primary care to improve lives in the High Country region of North Carolina. For more information, visit apprhs.org/wataugamedical.

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 for patient safety. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey and 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. For more, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our newsletter.