Mercy Hospital Washington is exceeding other hospitals at keeping patients safe from infections and other risks during and after surgery, according to a data analysis performed by a national consumer information magazine.

Consumer Reports investigated data and ranked hospitals across the country for their surgical safety and quality results. Mercy Hospital Washington scores rank the hospital in the top eight of the 56 hospitals listed in Missouri and higher than many hospitals across the nation.

“This ranking tells patients Mercy Hospital Washington follows reliable protocols to minimize surgical risks and complications,” said surgeon Tom Riechers, MD, chief of staff and vice president of medical affairs. “It shows we work hard at keeping patients safe, and that brings comfort to them and their loved ones.”

Surgical risks can be minimal or life threatening. They can include blood clots, drug-resistant infections, stroke and heart attacks. Mercy Hospital Washington has taken steps to minimize those risks. They include screening patients for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), reducing the use of urinary catheters, giving surgery-specific antibiotics to prevent infections, medication to prevent blood clots and beta-blockers for patients at risk for heart attack or stroke.

As a result, Mercy Hospital Washington has maintained zero MRSA infections in the intensive care unit (ICU) since 2010 and zero central (intravenous) line infections for seven years.

The hospital has received much recognition for its quality and safety efforts. It earned an “A” grade based on preventable medical errors, accidents and infections from the Leapfrog Group this year. It was ranked by Consumer Reports in 2012 as a top “safe hospital” and in 2010 as a top hospital at keeping patients in the ICU from contracting life-threatening infections linked to the presence of central (intravenous) lines.

In 2011, the hospital was recognized by Primaris for maintaining zero MRSA infections in the ICU. The hospital was a 2010 recipient of the Safe Patient Care Award for influenza mitigation from Missouri’s Center for Patient Safety.