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Awards & Recognitions

South County Hospital is dedicated to providing you with the highest quality care in a setting mindful of your safety and privacy. We are always scrutinizing the quality of the care we provide by participating in patient care initiatives, evaluating outcomes and processes, reviewing performance data and monitoring patient satisfaction both through independent third-party assessment and internal review by our Quality Improvement Team. 


We participate in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's 5 Million Lives Campaign, which advocates for standards of care for patients most at risk of infection, complications and adverse outcomes.

South County Hospital has adopted the following 12 recommended interventions:

  • Prevent Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) infection by reliably implementing scientifically proven infection control practices throughout the hospital.
  • Reduce harm from high-alert medications starting with a focus on anticoagulants, sedatives, narcotics and insulin.
  • Reduce surgical complications by reliably implementing the changes in care recommended by the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP).
  • Prevent pressure ulcers by reliably using science-based guidelines for prevention of this common, but serious complication.
  • Deliver reliable, evidence-based care for congestive heart failure to reduce readmissions.
  • Get the Board of Trustee's buy-in on new and leverage processes so that it can be more effective in accelerating the improvement of care.
  • Deploy Rapid Response Teams at the first sign of patient decline -- and before a catastrophic cardiac or respiratory event.
  • Deliver reliable, evidence-based care for acute myocardial infarction to prevent heart attack deaths.
  • Prevent adverse drug events by reconciling patient medications at every transition point in care.
  • Prevent central line infections by implementing a series of interdependent, scientifically grounded steps.
  • Prevent surgical site infections by following a series of steps, including reliable, timely administration of correct perioperative antibiotics.
  • Prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia by implementing a series of interdependent, scientifically grounded steps.

In October, 2023, South County Health’s Radiation Therapy program was awarded a three-year accreditation from The American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO). South County Health is one of only approximately 300 practices nationwide to receive this prestigious accreditation.

ACRO accreditation is a voluntary process in which professional peers use identified standards indicative of a quality practice, and an audit is conducted to assure that these standards are followed. The accreditation occurs in South County Health’s first year of eligibility, as they recently acquired the Radiation Therapy facility at 142 Kenyon Avenue in Wakefield and reopened in spring of 2022, providing services to patients of South County Health and patients referred from other community providers.  

The Center for Advanced Orthopedic Surgery at South County Hospital has received national accreditation from The Joint Commission for Advanced Total Hip and Knee Replacement in 

South County Hospital’s Center for Advanced Orthopedic Surgery, a joint partnership between South County Health and Ortho Rhode Island, has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Total Hip and Knee Replacement Certification by demonstrating the highest standards for quality and safety in joint replacement procedures.

Established in 2016 and awarded for a two-year period, The Joint Commission Advanced-Certification was developed in response to the growing number of patients undergoing a total hip or total knee replacement surgery. Advanced Certification also focuses on clinical evidence-based patient care as it relates to pain management, quality of life issues, functional limitation in mobility, and the return to normal daily activities.

Awarded in collaboration with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the certification recognizes health care organizations that provide clinical programs across the continuum of care for total hip and total knee replacements.

Through a partnership with Ortho Rhode Island, and the opening of the Center for Advanced Orthopedic Surgery at South County Hospital, South County Health is a global leader in robotic-assisted surgery. Since pioneering the use of Stryker’s Mako SmartRobotics™ surgical technology for hip and knee replacements in 2010, the expert surgeons at Ortho Rhode Island have performed more than 17,000 robotic-assisted hip and knee replacement surgeries at South County Hospital.

Click here to read more about this accreditation.

South County Hospital was the first hospital in the state recognized by the American Heart Association for participation in its Get with the Guidelines program. The program outlines standards of care for coronary artery disease and helps ensure continuous improvement in treatment and prevention of heart attacks.

South County Hospital was the first hospital in RI to be designated Baby-Friendly in 2000, and has received re-designation for five-years as recently as 2023. This mark of excellence encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. This is a designation established by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, which launched the Baby-Friendly initiative in 1991, with the goal of giving mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to initiate, and continue breastfeeding their babies or safely feed formula. 

Blue Distinction Centers have a proven history of delivering exceptional care and results.  These hospitals have demonstrated quality care, treatment expertise and, overall, better patient results.


Orthopedics Quality & Outcomes Report

Our dedication to quality and care earned South County Hospital in 2017 and 2018 the distinction of being the ONLY hospital in the Northeast, and one of 19 nationally, to be awarded a "5-Star Rating" from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid in both Hospital Quality and Patient Experience. 

In 2023, South County Hospital received 5-Stars for Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), it was one of only two hospitals in the state to receive the top rating.

After critics questioned the measurement criteria, the CMS updated the formula used in its Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating program. In December 2016, the CMS released its new results, with South County Hospital now being one of only 83 hospitals in the country to receive the highest possible rating of 5-Stars, and still the only hospital in RI to earn the top score.

The clinical areas that South County Health did best in were safety of care, readmission and patient experience, three areas of significant importance, while still achieving high grades in the other areas of healthcare.

The CMS Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating was created by Medicare to simplify complex criteria that measures healthcare quality so that healthcare consumers can make informed decisions.  While the field of high-quality healthcare systems may have narrowed, South County Health still remains among the top in the country.

South County Health's Cancer Center was granted Three-Year accreditation in January 2023, with commendation by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons. Considered to be the gold standard for cancer programs, accreditation by the CoC means patients can be assured they will receive high-quality patient-centered care. To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, a cancer program must meet 34 CoC quality care standards, be evaluated every three years through a survey process, and maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care. 

Because it is a CoC-accredited cancer center, South County Health takes a multidisciplinary approach to treating cancer as a complex group of diseases that requires consultation among surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and other cancer specialists. This multidisciplinary partnership results in improved patient care. 

The CoC Accreditation Program provides the framework for South County Health to improve its quality of patient care through various cancer-related programs that focus on the full spectrum of cancer care including prevention, early diagnosis, cancer staging, optimal treatment, rehabilitation, life-long follow-up for recurrent disease, and end-of-life care. When patients receive care at a CoC facility, they also have access to information on clinical trials and new treatments, genetic counseling, and patient-centered services including psycho-social support, a patient navigation process, and a survivorship care plan that documents the care each patient receives and seeks to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.  

South County Hospital was recently awarded a Five-Star rating by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), putting it in the top 7 percent of those surveyed nationwide. As of 2023, South County Hospital is one of two hospitals in Rhode Island with a Five-Star rating.

The star ratings are based on HCAHPS scores. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) added the star ratings to “make it easier for consumers to use the information on the Compare Web sites and spotlight excellence in healthcare quality,” according to the HCAHPS website. Each hospital will have 12-star ratings—one for each of the 11 publicly reported HCAHPS measures, and one as the HCAHPS Summary Star Rating. The Summary Star Rating combines the 11 HCAHPS star ratings into one comprehensive metric.

The HCAHPS star ratings will be updated each quarter, according to CMS. Find more information here.

South County Health’s efforts to deliver the best patient experience possible was acknowledged in January 2024 with a prestigious award from Press Ganey – the 2023 Human Experience (HX) Guardian of Excellence Award® .

This award is part of Press Ganey’s annual ranking of the top hospitals and health systems in the country, according to performance in patient experience. South County Hospital was the only hospital in Rhode Island to receive this recognition.

As a winner of the Press Ganey HX Guardian of Excellence Award®, South County Health is in the top 5% of healthcare providers in delivering patient experience in the last year. Press Ganey works with more than 41,000 healthcare facilities in its mission to reduce patient suffering and enhance caregiver resilience to improve the overall safety, quality and experience of care.

The Guardian of Excellence award recognizes those hospitals reaching the 95th percentile in patient feedback surveys for each reporting period during the award year. The survey captures patient responses related to communication, wait times, respect and courtesy, patient privacy, and pain control.

South County Health consistently remains among the best in patient Experience, focused on delivering the best care for patients.

South County Hospital is the only hospital in Rhode Island that was part of The Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) ICU Liberation Campaign, a national collaborative to improve quality of care. As part of the Collaborative, participating hospitals work with a team of leading national and regional experts to target a number of health outcomes, such as optimizing pain control, early recognition of delirium, engaging families in care, and improving early mobilization.

South County Hospital’s efforts to provide high-quality care and a positive patient experience was recognized with an "A" rating from Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade for the Fall of 2022.

South County Hospital was one of only three hospitals in Rhode Island to receive an "A" Rating. 

This was the eighth “A” rating South County Hospital has received since 2018.

The "A" grade reflects a commitment to patient safety and is based on more than 30 national performance measures that look at errors, injuries, accidents, and infections as reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, and information from other supplemental data sources.

Taken together, these performance measures produce a single letter grade representing a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors.

The Leapfrog Survey focuses on the issues that are significant to patients who are deciding which hospital to choose for their care — including surgical outcomes, medication errors, hand hygiene, and adequate training.

Leapfrog provides public reporting of critical safety and quality information to help healthcare consumers find the best care, while helping hospitals achieve the best care possible for their patients.

South County Hospital participates in the American Nurses Association National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI)®. The program provides opportunity for the ongoing collection of data necessary to assess and improve patients' quality of care.

The leading nurse driven program designed to help hospitals improve the care of older adults. The vision of NICHE is for all patients 65-and-over to be given sensitive and exemplary care. The mission of NICHE is to provide principles and tools to stimulate a change in the culture of healthcare facilities to achieve patient-centered care for older adults.


Specific areas of hospital care are measured and reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and The Joint Commission. Having undergone extensive validity and reliability testing, these standards are all endorsed by the National Quality Forum, a voluntary, standard-setting, consensus-building organization representing providers, consumers, purchasers and researchers.

In 2012, South County Hospital achieved Pathway to Excellence designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).  It is the first hospital in New England to receive this prestigious recognition. The Pathway to Excellence™ designation identifies the elements of work environments where nurses can flourish. The designation substantiates the professional satisfaction of nurses at South County Hospital and identifies it as one of the best places to work.

South County Health endorses The Joint Commission’s 2017 patient safety goals. The Joint Commission is the nation’s predominate standard-setting accrediting body in health care. The goals focus on problems in health care safety and how to solve them and they are:

  • Identify patients correctly
  • Improve staff communication
  • Use medicines safely
  • Use alarms safety
  • Prevent infection
  • Identify patient safety risks
  • Prevent mistakes in surgery

In March 2023, South County Hospital was recertified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, the nation’s predominant standard-setting and accredited body in health care. Achievement of this certification signifies that South County Hospital is providing stroke care that is consistent with current evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients.

“We’re honored to receive this recertification from The Joint Commission for Stroke Care,” said Dr. Peter Bellafiore, Medical Director of South County Health’s Stroke Program. “This is a real testament to the quality and dedication of our multidisciplinary team, and an acknowledgement of the high level of care that we provide as Rhode Island’s Most Trusted Health Partner to all of our stroke patients, including the many patients requiring this acute level of care.”

South County Hospital has been designated as a Primary Stroke Center since 2014. Hospitals that receive this designation must undergo a review by The Joint Commission every two years.


Learn more

South County Hospital was named a Pinnacle of Excellence Award® winner by Press Ganey in the Fall of 2021. The Pinnacle of Excellence Award recognizes South County Health as a top-performing organization based on extraordinary achievement and consistently high levels of excellence over a three-year period. This is the fourth time South County Health has received this honor.

Organizations such as Press Ganey, Healthgrades, Leapfrog, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid provide data-driven reports on healthcare systems across the country. These grading systems are intended to help healthcare consumers choose high-quality providers for their medical needs.

South County Health consistently remains among the best in Hospital Quality and Patient Experience, focused on delivering the best care for patients.

South County Health has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Hospital Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal of Approval is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.

In June, 2023, The Joint Commission conducted a rigorous three-day survey to evaluate compliance with standards of care of both health ministries’ inpatient departments, outpatient departments, and practices.

During the review, a team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated compliance with hospital standards related to several areas, including emergency management, environment of care, infection prevention and control, leadership, and medication management. Surveyors also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

The Joint Commission has accredited hospitals for more than 60 years. More than 4,000 general, children’s, long-term acute, psychiatric, rehabilitation, and specialty hospitals currently maintain accreditation from The Joint Commission, awarded for a three-year period. In addition, approximately 360 critical access hospitals maintain accreditation through a separate program.

“Joint Commission accreditation provides hospitals with the processes needed to improve in a variety of areas from the enhancement of staff education to the improvement of daily business operations,” said Mark G. Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Division of Accreditation and Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. “In addition, our accreditation helps hospitals enhance their risk management and risk reduction strategies.”

The Joint Commission’s hospital standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The standards are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help hospitals measure, assess, and improve performance.

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. An independent, nonprofit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about The Joint Commission at

You can have extra confidence in choosing South County Health Orthopedics Center for your joint replacement surgery. UnitedHealth Premium® has recognized us as a Total Joint Replacement Specialty Center.

UnitedHealthcare developed this Specialty Center Program to recognize hospitals meeting rigorous quality criteria. The designation is:

  • Based on detailed information about specialized training, practice capabilities and outcomes
  • Designed to help consumers make informed decisions when choosing quality and cost-efficient orthopedic care

To receive this designation for joint replacement centers, we met extensive quality and outcomes criteria based on nationally recognized medical standards and expert advice.

South County Hospital was one of only two hospitals in Rhode Island to receive a 2015, 2016, and 2017 Women’s Choice Award® for outstanding care in obstetrics. This designation is one-of-a-kind and identifies the country’s best healthcare institutions based on female patient satisfaction, clinical excellence, and what women say they want from a hospital. 

The America’s Best Hospitals for Obstetrics scoring process is unique in that it is the only national list that focuses on female patient satisfaction. The hospitals that qualify for this highly selective designation provide an exceptional level of obstetric services. Scoring is based on patient recommendation scores, as provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys, as well as an analysis that identifies criteria most important to women’s patient satisfaction.

The award recognizes South County Hospital’s safe surgery practices and low rates of complications and infections, based on 11 factors. The Hospital is ranked in the top 16 percent of 3,179 hospitals in the country for patient safety.