Twice a year, the nonprofit, independent Leapfrog Group publishes Hospital Safety Grades as part of its goal to “make giant leaps forward in the safety, quality and affordability of health care in the U.S.” Acute-care hospitals nationwide voluntarily participate free of charge.

You can plug in the name of your participating hospital here, and click through for full aggregated scores on doctors, nurses, hospital staff; infections; safety issues; practices to prevent errors; and more.

For the spring 2019 report, about 2,600 hospitals participated with:
• 32% earning an “A” grade

• 26% earning a “B”

• 36% earning a “C”

• 6% earning a “D”

• <1% earning an “F”

While Oregon, Virginia, Maine, Massachusetts, and Utah had the highest percentage of “A” hospitals, Wyoming, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Delaware, and North Dakota had zero hospitals with “A” grades this spring.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade states that it’s the nation’s only rating system focused entirely on errors, accidents, injuries and infections, and estimates that 160,000 lives are lost annually from avoidable medical errors (down from 205,000 avoidable deaths in 2016).

While Leapfrog states that even hospitals with an “A” grade aren’t perfectly safe, they’re getting safer. Meanwhile the group asserts that when compared to “A” hospitals:

  • Patients at “D” and “F” hospitals face a 92% greater risk of avoidable death
  • Patients at “C” hospitals on average face an 88% greater risk of avoidable death
  • Patients at “B” hospitals on average face a 35% greater risk of avoidable death

The Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality provides guidance to Leapfrog for the survey and a national expert panel reviews the survey’s methodology.

New ASC ratings will enable procedure “comparison shopping”

Leapfrog recently launched a new survey for ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and hospital outpatient departments, and this fall will publish the data for public consumption for the first time. The goal: Provide purchasers and consumers with information to compare the same procedure, whether offered at a hospital or an ASC, across a range of topics important to purchasers, employers, and patients, including:

  • Basics such as number of procedure rooms, accreditation, and transfer policies and agreements
  • Medical, surgical, and clinical staff training; certifications and education; and credentialing of clinicians
  • Volume and safety of procedures including data on adult and pediatric outpatient procedures, patient follow-up and after-hours communication, patient selection and consent, and use of a safe surgery checklist
  • Patient safety practices covering medication safety, antimicrobial stewardship, hand hygiene, ‘Never Events’ policy, and compliance with the National Quality Forum Safe Practices
  • Patient experience stemming from communication from medical personnel about procedures beforehand and thorough instructions for followup care upon departure