Record Number of Hospitals Receive an ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ ‘D,’ or ‘F’ on the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade

November 10, 2021

For the first time, hospitals graded on post-operative sepsis, kidney injury, and blood leakage


WASHINGTON, D.C., November 10, 2021—The Leapfrog Group, a national watchdog organization of employers and other purchasers focused on health care safety, today released the fall 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, which assigns a letter grade to U.S. general hospitals based on how well they prevent medical errors, accidents, injuries, and infections that kill or harm patients. The fall 2021 Hospital Safety Grade represents the largest set of hospitals ever graded with grades assigned to 2,901 facilities. The Safety Grades reflect performance on more than 30 evidence-based measures of patient safety, including for the first time, post-operative sepsis, blood leakage, and kidney injury.

Among the new measures incorporated into the grade is post-operative sepsis, which results in suffering, disability, and sometimes death for an estimated 160,000 people a year in the United States. Overall, sepsis in all settings, including post-operative sepsis, kills over 270,000 people a year and is the costliest condition in U.S. hospitals. The condition does not affect all populations equally; for instance, Black people are twice as likely as white people to be diagnosed with sepsis. At, the public can find detailed information about a hospital’s performance on post-operative sepsis and other measures used to grade hospitals.

The fall grades show significant variation in patient safety performance across U.S. hospitals, which underscores the importance of access to information that allows patients to select the safest hospital available to them.

“As the pandemic continues, we all have heightened awareness of the importance of hospitals in our communities and in our lives,” said Leah Binder, president & CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “It is critical that all hospitals put patient safety first. Now we have more information on more hospitals than ever before, so people can protect themselves and their families.”

Across all states, highlights of findings from the fall 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade include:

  • Thirty-two percent of hospitals received an "A," 26% received a "B," 35% received a "C," 7% received a "D," and less than 1% received an "F.”
  • The five states with the highest percentages of "A" hospitals are Virginia, North Carolina, Idaho, Massachusetts, and Colorado.
  • There were no "A" hospitals in Delaware, Washington, DC, and North Dakota.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is advised by an expert panel of leading patient safety authorities from across the country and receives guidance from the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. Grades are updated biannually in the fall and in the spring.

For more information about the Hospital Safety Grade, including details on individual hospital grades and state rankings, please visit You may also view planned changes to the 2022 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade and submit public comment on the changes. 


About The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade
The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on a hospital’s ability to prevent medical errors and harm to patients. It is peer-reviewed, fully transparent, and free to the public. It is issued by The Leapfrog Group , a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care, founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey and new Leapfrog Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Survey collect and transparently report hospital and ASC performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions.

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