Note: This blog post is by our office manager, Nancy Hochenberger. Thanks Nancy! -MRF
The Leapfrog Group recently released their Spring 2019 Hospital Safety Grades report for hospitals nationwide. Many New Jersey hospitals fared well, but others didn’t match up. Leapfrog, a national nonprofit group, represents some of the largest U.S. employers and purchasers of healthcare. They have collected and reported on safety and quality information on hospital inpatient care for the past 19 years. Over 2,600 hospitals participate in their Leapfrog Hospital Survey, which collects information focused on errors, accidents, injuries and infections. Approximately 70 percent of the hospital beds in the U.S. are represented in these reports, which are issued in the spring and fall of each year.
Of the 68 New Jersey hospitals listed in the report, 31 earned an “A” grade in hospital safety, while 27 earned a “B” grade, 7 earned a “C” grade, and only 3 earned a “D” grade. Researchers assessed that when compared to “A” hospitals, patients at “D” and “F” hospitals face a 92% greater risk of avoidable death, while patients at “C” hospitals on average face an 88% greater risk, and patients at “B” hospitals on average face a 35% greater risk.
Nationwide, the researchers estimate that 160,000 lives are lost every year, due to avoidable medical errors. It sounds high, but is a significant improvement over the estimated 205,000 avoidable deaths in 2016.
“The good news is that tens of thousands of lives have been saved because of progress on patient safety. The bad news is that there’s still a lot of needless death and harm in American hospitals,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of the Leapfrog Group. “Hospitals don’t all have the same track record, so it really matters which hospital people choose, which is the purpose of our Hospital Safety Grade.”
Starting in 2020, Leapfrog will also report on Ambulatory Surgery Centers and hospital outpatient surgeries, because they recognize that more than 60 percent of surgeries in the U.S. are performed in these facilities.