Location may matter when it comes to where you get your healthcare, according to the newly released Hospital Safety Score. Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont boast the largest percentage of A hospitals in the United States. Rhode Island, Missouri and Oregon feature the lowest percentage of A hospitals. The full state ranking can be seen here.
The Hospital Safety Score is an A, B, C, D, or F letter grade reflecting how safe hospitals are for patients and is calculated using publicly available data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections.
The top ten ranked states for number of A scores include Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia, Delaware, Minnesota and California. The lowest-ranked states (lowest percentage of A's per total number of hospitals in each state) include New York, Washington, D.C., Connecticut, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Oregon, Missouri and Rhode Island. Unscored hospitals include all hospitals from the State of Maryland which the federal government excludes from required public reporting at the national level.
"More than 400* people die every day from hospital errors such as medication mix-ups, accidents and infections," said Leah Binder, president and CEO, The Leapfrog Group, the independent nonprofit group that created the Hospital Safety Score. "Ultimately, we want all hospitals to get A's. But it is interesting to see that hospitals in some parts of the country seem to be particularly focused on safety. We encourage the people who live in states that fared worse in the Hospital Safety Score to have a conversation with their doctors about the quality of care."
The Hospital Safety Score website www.HospitalSafetyScore.org allows visitors to search hospital scores for free, and also provides information on how members of the public can protect themselves and loved ones during a hospital stay. The Hospital Safety Score will be reissued using updated data in November 2012, with an annual Hospital Safety Score to follow in 2013 and beyond.