The Leapfrog Group announced today the spring 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, finding signs hospitals are making progress in reducing avoidable deaths from errors and infections. The bi-annual grading assigns “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” and “F” letter grades to general acute-care hospitals in the U.S., and is the nation’s only rating focused entirely on errors, accidents, injuries and infections that collectively are the third leading cause of death in the United States.
“The national numbers on death and harm in hospitals have alarmed us for decades. What we see in the new round of Safety Grades are signs of many hospitals making significant improvements in their patient safety record,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog. “Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades have definitely spurred these improvement efforts. But the hospitals achieving new milestones are doing the hard work, and we salute them as well as the leaders, researchers and organizations fighting every year for patient safety.”
Signs of hospitals achieving improvements included:
- Five “A” hospitals receiving this grade for the very first time this spring had an “F” grade in the past
- 46 hospitals have achieved an “A” for the first time since the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade began six years ago
- 89 hospitals receiving an “A” at one point had received a “D” or “F”
- Continued strong performance from states including Rhode Island, Hawaii, Wisconsin, and Idaho which once ranked near the bottom of the state rankings of percentage of “A” hospitals but now rank in the top ten
Improvement has also been seen in Maryland and Washington, D.C. metro area. Maryland, which received Safety Grades for the first time in fall 2017, moved out of the bottom five in Leapfrog’s bi-annual state rankings analysis, with three “A” hospitals: Howard County General Hospital, Northwest Hospital and The Johns Hopkins Hospital. This analysis ranks states according to their percentage of “A” hospitals. Washington. D.C. also saw its first “A” grade hospital, Sibley Memorial Hospital, since spring 2013. The nation’s capital has consistently ranked near the bottom of Leapfrog’s rankings analysis.
“In looking at Maryland over the course of these six months, it’s clear there’s been an effort to improve since they were first graded in fall 2017,” said Binder. “Not only are there now three ‘A’ hospitals, but six additional hospitals received a ‘B’ grade, having previously received a ‘C’ or lower.” She continued, “In the case of Washington, D.C., we’re encouraged residents have an ‘A’ hospital in the area for the first time in five years.”
Additional Hospital Safety Grade findings include:
- Of the approximately 2,500 hospitals graded, 30 percent earned an “A,” 28 percent earned a “B,” 35 percent a “C,” six percent a “D” and one percent an “F”
- The five states with the highest percentage of “A” hospitals this spring are Hawaii, Idaho, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Virginia
- Hospitals with “F” grades are located in California, Washington, D.C., Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey and New York
- There are no “A” hospitals in Alaska, Delaware or North Dakota
- Impressively, 49 hospitals nationwide have achieved an “A” in every grading update since the launch of the Safety Grade in spring 2012
The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. It is updated every six months, once in the fall and once in the spring.
Also announced today, Leapfrog published planned updates to the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade methodology for the Fall 2018 grading cycle. Hospitals and other stakeholders are encouraged to view the planned updates and submit public comments on these changes here.
For more information about the Safety Grade, as well as individual hospital grades and state rankings, please visit www.hospitalsafetygrade.org and follow the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade on Twitter and Facebook. Journalists interested in additional trend analyses and scheduling an interview should contact LeapfrogMediaGroup@sternstrategy.com.