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Hospital hailed for patient safety
Northside-Forsyth ranked in top 5 percent
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Forsyth County News

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The list of the nation's top 5 percent of hospitals for patient safety, along with clinical quality ratings for all the nation's nearly 5,000 hospitals, can be found at

Northside Hospital-Forsyth has been named one of the best hospitals in the nation for patient safety.

A recent survey conducted by HealthGrades, an independent organization that ranks medical providers to empower consumers to make informed health decisions, listed Northside-Forsyth in the top 5 percent of hospitals across the nation for patient safety.

The survey analyzed 40 million Medicare patient records from 2007-09, looking at 13 safety indicators.

Among them: Foreign objects left in a body following a surgical procedure; excessive bleeding or bruising after surgery; bloodstream infections from catheters; and bedsores.

Northside-Forsyth was one of four hospitals in Georgia named to top 5 percent.

The others included Gainesville's Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, and Saint Mary's Hospital in Athens.

Skip Putnam, CEO of Northside-Forsyth, said he and his staff were "very proud and honored" to receive the ranking from HealthGrades.

"Ensuring patient safety and quality of care is a part of everyone's job at Northside Hospital-Forsyth," Putnam said. "We will continue to provide the safest environment and best possible care for our community."

James McCoy, president of the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce, said the ranking speaks well not only for the hospital, but the entire community.

"The fact that we have a local hospital recognized for safety on a national level is remarkable," he said. "This is a great accomplishment for the leadership of the hospital and our community.

"For Northside-Forsyth to maintain this level of performance at a larger size is truly remarkable."

According to the HealthGrade study, patients treated at hospitals ranking in the top 5 percent have a 46 percent lower risk of experiencing a patient safety incident than those treated in lower performing hospitals.

In addition, the study found patients treated in the top performing hospitals were on average about 52 percent less likely to contract a hospital-acquired infection following surgery.