Subscribe Today! Please read: Readers of local content on the Herald and News website – – will require a subscription beginning today. For the first few months, non-subscribers will still be able to view 10 articles for free. If you are not already a subscriber, now is a great time to join for as little as $10/month!

Sky Lakes Medical Center has been awarded its third consecutive “A” Hospital Safety Grade by the Leapfrog Group, according to a news release.

The fall 2019 award recognizes the Klamath Falls medical center’s achievements in protecting patients from harm and providing safe health care.

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit national patient safety watchdog organization, releases letter grades twice a year that reflect the safety of acute-care hospitals. Sky Lakes previously received “A” Safety Grades in fall 2018 and spring 2019.


“Improving patient safety and the quality of care is an ongoing process for the medical center. Sky Lakes employee teams use both internal benchmarks and external data to constantly improve the services we provide our patients,” said Paul Stewart, Sky Lakes President and Chief Executive Officer. “Third-party evaluations such as Leapfrog’s are independent validation of our ongoing efforts.”

“We are committed to providing our patients and community with the highest level of care and safety possible,” he added.

The Leapfrog Safety Grade is the gold standard measure of patient safety. The Leapfrog Group uses national performance measures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Leapfrog Hospital Survey and other supplemental data sources in its evaluation. Taken together, those performance measures produce a single letter grade representing a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors.

Safety Grade

The Safety Grade includes 28 measures, all currently in use by national measurement and reporting programs. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed, fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.

“An ‘A’ Safety Grade shows how hospital leadership is protecting patients from preventable medical harm and error,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “It takes genuine commitment at every level – from clinicians to front-line staff to administrators to the board of directors – and we congratulate everyone who has worked so hard to earn this A.”

The A Safety Grade award is the most recent of a series of recognitions for Sky Lakes.

Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals, recognized Sky Lakes as a five-star recipient for treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for three years in a row (2017-2019), and as a five-star recipient for treatment of pneumonia in 2019.

In late 2018, Healthgrades rated pulmonary care at Sky Lakes among the top 10 percent in the nation. The achievement was among the findings in the Healthgrades 2019 Report to the Nation.

Also in 2018, Sky Lakes was recognized by HealthInsight for demonstrating excellence in providing high-quality patient care. HealthInsight is a regional health care-improvement collaborative and its Quality Award Program recognizes high-performing health care organizations.

The Chartis Center of Rural Health and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) presented its Performance Leadership Award to Sky Lakes in 2018 for overall excellence in the “Outcomes” category, reflecting top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the nation.