MONROE, Ga. — A national survey gave good marks to Piedmont Walton Hospital for providing quality care and advancing equality in the community.

Piedmont Walton was 10th in the state in the survey by the Lown Institute, earning a grade of A-minus.

“At a time when communities are relying on them like ever before, hospitals must rethink what it means to be great,” Dr. Vikas Saini, president of the Lown Institute in Brookline, Massachusetts, said in a statement.

“COVID-19 highlights how hospitals are essential community partners for anyone in need. To be great, however, a hospital cannot only provide care that’s high in quality. It must also deliver value and advance equality. Our index is designed to help them do just that.”

Wellstar Douglas Hospital in Douglasville ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 6 in the nation. Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center was third in Georgia.

The study looked at three categories: civic leadership, value of care and patient outcomes.

Lown Institute officials say their study is the first to consider how well hospitals spend on “meaningful community benefits,” including the proportion of low-income patients served. The study also looks at how well hospitals care for patients of color and patients who have lower income or less education.

Piedmont Walton’s top score came for patient outcomes, which was predicted using an algorithm called the Risk Stratification Index. The hospital was in the 76th percentile for clinical outcomes, with highest marks for in-hospital mortality and 30-day readmission rates.

“Piedmont Walton is proud to be recognized as a top-10 hospital in Georgia by the Lown Institute,” CEO Larry Ebert said. “Our hospital’s mission is to provide high-quality, patient-centered health care, and the safety of our patients is our top priority.

“We also aim to serve as an economic engine and supporter of the Walton County community, and this recognition demonstrates our team’s commitment to improving the lives of those in our community.”

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