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Palms West Hospital gets an A for patient safety

HCA Florida Palms West Hospital in Loxahatchee, FL.

Photo by Palms West Journal.

One hospital in Palm Beach County received a Hospital Safety Grade of A for 2022 as judged by the veteran patient safety, quality and transparency organization The Leapfrog Group: HCA Florida Palms West Hospital in Loxahatchee.

HCA Florida Palms West implemented practices that reduced the number of patient falls by 40% compared with 2021, helping to reduce the injury rate from such falls to 1%.

The hospital also adopted HCA Florida’s East Florida Division initiatives such as Make Safety Personal and improved its VigiLanz Safety Surveillance event reporting to reduce patient elopements — patients knowingly leaving without permission — by 70% and earn its A rating.

“We had been carrying a B grade for a number of years, so we’re happy to have reached that pinnacle,” says the hospital’s CEO, Jason Kimbrell. “We monitor the scores that other area hospitals receive. Competition is healthy. When it comes to a patient safety score, the recipient of the medal is really the patient. There are a lot of amazing hospitals in Palm Beach County, so the competition makes us better.”

Based in Washington, The Leapfrog Group has been a nonprofit hospital watchdog organization since 2000. Its Hospital Safety Grade uses more than 30 performance measures from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, plus its own Leapfrog Hospital Survey and other data to grade hospitals on keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors.

“I really feel like the formulas and calculations The Leapfrog Group uses seem fair,” Kimbrell says. “They have a solid reputation of being an organization that monitors quality at hospitals with no bias.”

Providing health care to western Palm Beach County communities since 1986, Palms West Hospital hit the top marks in all five sections of The Leapfrog Group’s “Preventing and Responding to Patient Harm” category in 2022.

Similar grades were achieved across all “Medication Safety” and “Pediatric Care” subsections. The hospital also received a Patient Safety Excellence Award in 2021 from Healthgrades, the online health care locator.

In early 2022, Palms West Hospital was one of 12 facilities in southeast Florida to take on the HCA Florida prefix, signifying its partnership with a health care network covering nearly 50 Florida hospitals.

In July, HCA Florida Palms West Hospital broke ground on its $16 million emergency room expansion, a project that will add 4,400 square feet and 12 beds, plus a pediatric emergency room. The expansion is expected to be completed this spring.

“It’s our job to take advantage of this opportunity to expand health care across Palm Beach County and care for and improve human life,” Kimbrell says.

For doing just that, Palms West nurse Modesta “Mo” Hicks earned the facility’s 2Q Daisy Award last year.

“My husband was hospitalized at the end of December (2020) with COVID-19,” a patient wrote to nominate Hicks for the award, “and was not doing very well for weeks. Doctors and staff were amazing and caring, but there was one nurse that stood out above all the others — that was Mo, the most nurturing, loving, kind human being we’ve met in a long time. We want to thank her for her devotion and love to her patients.”

HCA Florida Palms West is at 13001 Southern Blvd. For further information, call 561-798-3300, or visit


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