Northwest Arkansas hospitals earn ‘A’ safety grade

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Five Northwest Arkansas hospitals and one in the River Valley have received an “A” grade in the Spring 2022 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Guide.

Mercy-Northwest and Mercy-Fort Smith along with Washington Regional and Northwest Health Medical Centers in Bentonville, Springdale and Siloam Springs received the national distinction in protecting patients from preventable harm and error while in the hospital.

“We are honored to receive this national award, which recognizes Washington Regional’s dedication to patient safety,” said Washington Regional President and CEO Larry Shackelford. “As Northwest Arkansas’ health care leader, earning Leapfrog’s top grade demonstrates our commitment in making safety our top priority, and we are dedicated to providing our community with nationally recognized, quality health care.”

“This achievement is a direct result of the dedication of our team, who make quality and safety the top priority for the care we provide,” said Eric Pianalto, president of Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas. “We are grateful for the commitment of our co-workers, who deliver high-quality health care for our community every day.”

“Our care teams are doing an amazing job fulfilling our purpose to help people heal and live healthier by providing safe, high-quality and compassionate care,” said Chris York, market chief executive officer at Northwest Health. “I am proud of our teams for delivering loving care to Northwest Arkansas.”

The award is the twelfth straight “A” grade for Mercy Hospital Fort Smith and the sixth straight for Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas. 

The Leapfrog Group, assigns an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F” grade to general hospitals across the country based on over 30 national performance measures and systems to prevent errors, injuries, accidents and infections. Grades are updated twice annually in the fall and spring, the release notes.

To see Washington Regional and Mercy’s full grade details as well as access patient tips for the hospitals, visit

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