December 2010 - Central Carolina Hospital Nationally Recognized as a Top Rural Hospital 
Wednesday, 01 December 2010 

SANFORD, N.C. (December 1, 2010) – Central Carolina Hospital in Sanford, North Carolina was recognized today as a Top Rural Hospital by the Leapfrog Group. The organization announced their annual class of top hospitals – 66 from a field of nearly 1200 – at their 10th anniversary meeting in Washington, D.C. on December 1, 2010. Central Carolina Hospital is the only hospital in North Carolina and one of only five in the nation selected for Leapfrog recognition in all three categories of national patient safety, quality care and resource use standards.

“Earning the top hospital designation is a testament to the work of everyone in the hospital – the governing body, management, physicians, caregivers, employees, and volunteers,” said Leapfrog Chief Executive Leah Binder.

“We are very proud of everyone at Central Carolina Hospital,” said Kelvin A. Baggett, M.D., chief medical officer for Central Carolina Hospital’s parent company, Tenet Healthcare Corporation. “This recognition showcases the excellent job the staff and physicians have done to continuously improve the quality of care and patient safety provided at Central Carolina.“

“To be chosen among only five rural hospitals in the nation is such an honor,” said Doug Doris, CEO of Central Carolina Hospital. “We’re working continuously to ensure that patient quality and safety are our top priorities. It’s great when we’re recognized by another group for our efforts, and it shows what a huge commitment our physicians and staff have made to our hospital and our community.”

The 2010 list includes university and other teaching hospitals, children’s hospitals and community hospitals in rural, suburban and urban settings.  The selection is based on the results of the Leapfrog Group’s national survey that measures hospitals’ performance in crucial areas of patient safety and quality.  The results are posted on, which is open to the patients and families, the public and employers and other purchasers of health care. It is one of the most complete pictures available of a hospital’s quality and safety.  

The survey, which launched in 2001, focuses on four critical areas of patient safety: the use of computer physician order entry (CPOE) to prevent medication errors; standards for doing high-risk procedures such as heart surgery; protocols and policies to reduce medical errors and other safe practices recommended by the National Quality Forum; and adequate nurse and physician staffing. In addition, hospitals are measured on their progress in preventing infections and other hospital-acquired conditions and adopting policies on the handling of serious medical errors, among other things.

Leapfrog Board Chair David Knowlton, president of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, pointed out that qualifying for the top hospital rank grows more difficult each year as Leapfrog’s standards evolve and new standards are added. “Leapfrog’s members, as purchasers of care, and our partners and supporters believe that the challenges for American health care go far beyond just keeping costs down.  Making certain that patients get the right care at the right time—value-–is an equal part of the equation.”

The Leapfrog Group is a coalition of public and private purchasers of employee health coverage founded a decade ago to work for improvements in health care safety, quality and affordability.  Initially organized by the Business Roundtable, it is now an independent advocacy group working with a broad range of partners, including hospitals and insurers.  The annual survey is the only voluntary effort of its kind. 

About Central Carolina Hospital

Central Carolina Hospital, part of Tenet North Carolina, is a 137-bed acute care hospital located at 1135 Carthage Street in Sanford, N.C. Central Carolina Hospital serves the medical and health care needs of Lee County and surrounding counties. Central Carolina Hospital offers a wide range of programs and services including emergency services, outpatient rehabilitation programs, advanced diagnostic imaging, inpatient and outpatient surgery, and maternity services. Central Carolina Hospital also provides cardiology services including cardiac catheterization, echocardiography, and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programs. The hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest hospital accreditation agency. To learn more about the hospital, visit