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Enhanced Hospital Safety Score Helps Patients Track U.S. Hospitals’ Consistency in Preventing Harm

Washington, D.C., April 29, 2015, Today, The Leapfrog Group released updated and enhanced data for the Hospital Safety Score, which assigns A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals based on their ability to prevent errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. For the first time, the Hospital Safety Score website offers an enhanced feature, allowing users to view a hospital’s current score alongside its previous scores over the past three years, so that consumers can evaluate whether the hospital has maintained consistently strong performance or shown a pattern of improvement. Leapfrog will also cite the 182 hospitals that consistently received an A grade for safety and will label each hospital with a “Straight A’s” logo on the Hospital Safety Score website.

“At a time when more than 1,000 people die every day from preventable accidents in hospitals, Leapfrog believes that patient safety should be Job #1 in every hospital, 24-7. To reinforce that goal of consistent vigilance, we’ve made it easier for patients and others to evaluate a hospital’s previous safety record on the Hospital Safety Score website,” said Leah Binder, Leapfrog president and CEO. “While patients should always reference a hospital’s current grade as the most important indicator of hospital safety, patients may also want to consider the hospital’s past record, to assess whether their hospital is making constant improvements or if the hospital has demonstrated consistent excellence.”

The findings from the Spring 2015 update to the Hospital Safety Score show that while hospitals have made statistically significant improvements since Fall 2014 on several pre- and post-surgery safety processes, as well as the implementation of computerized medication prescribing systems, their performance on safety outcomes—including preventing errors, accidents and infections—has not significantly improved.

“Now that we’ve been collecting national hospital data over several years, we can examine not only how safe a hospital is now, but how consistently it maintains that patient safety focus over time. With 40 percent of hospitals receiving a C, D or F grade, there is absolutely room for improvement,” said Binder. “It’s important for patients to have access to the most in-depth and current data, which is why we offer the Hospital Safety Score twice each year and encourage those planning a hospital visit to check back for the most recent score.”

Additional Key Findings:

Of the 2,523 hospitals issued a Hospital Safety Score, 782 earned an A, 719 earned a B, 859 earned a C, 143 earned a D and 20 earned an F.

  • Overall, hospitals have improved on some of the Hospital Safety Score process measures since Fall 2014, including computerized medication prescribing systems, as well as several safety process measures, such as administering proper antibiotics before surgery and discontinuing use after surgery.
  • For the fourth time in a row, zero hospitals in the District of Columbia received an A grade. Additionally, neither North Dakota nor Arkansas had any hospitals with an A grade.
  • Maine claimed the number-one spot for the state with the highest percentage of A hospitals for the third straight time, with 61 percent of its 18 scored hospitals receiving an A.
  • 45 hospitals (or less than 2 percent) changed by two or more grades since the Fall 2014 grading cycle, with 33 showing significant improvement and 12 showing significant decline.
  • The Hospital Safety Score is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. A full description of the data and methodology used in determining grades is available online at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org. Visitors to the website can also find informative videos, tips for patients, and a downloadable Hospital Safety Score mobile app for IOS and Android devices.
  • For more information about the Hospital Safety Score or to view the list of state rankings, please visit www.hospitalsafetyscore.org. To learn how employers are footing the bill for hospital errors, visit Leapfrog’s Cost Calculator. Journalists interested in scheduling an interview should contact LeapfrogMediaGroup@sternassociates.com.

 

About The Leapfrog Group

Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Hospital Safety Score, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.