26 January 2013

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 January 26, 2013
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hospital safety scoreThe most recent Hospital Safety Scores have been released by the Leapfrog Group. These scores indicate the ability of hospitals in the United States to prevent medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections. The overall data indicates that hospitals have made improvements, but many are still responsible for
preventable errors every year.

Hospital Safety Scores are given to local hospitals on a grading scale ranging from A to F. The lowest grades are given to hospitals with the most hazardous environments. The scores are based on guidance from medical experts who are knowledgeable about patient safety and participate in the program on a pro bono
basis. The most recent scores reflect hospitals’ performance for 2011 and are made available to the public.

The most recent findings were based on data gleaned from 2,618 hospitals. Out of these hospitals, 790 of them earned an A grade, 678 received a B grade, 1004 earned a C grade, 121 received a D and 25 received an F grade. The majority of hospitals maintained the same score that they had from the most recent grade in June. No one particular classification of hospitals earned more A’s than other groups, such as teaching hospitals, public hospitals or private hospitals.

Some A earners include New York Presbyterian Hospital and the rural hospital Blessing Hospital. Other top performers included hospitals that served particularly impoverished or health-challenged areas. Additionally, 83 percent of Massachusetts’ hospitals and 80 percent of Maine hospitals earned an A.

The Leapfrog Group is providing additional methods for patients to share important data about their experiences which can be taken into account when determining Hospital Safety Scores. For example, the group offers a mobile app that lets users know the grades of nearby hospitals. Altarum Institute provides advice to hospitals that integrates information from the scores and can also offer systems-based solutions that can ultimately provide improvements in the health care industry.

The Leapfrog Group also recommends that if patients are injured in a hospital, that they should contact ProPublica, an organization that investigates widespread patient safety concerns. This organization includes a web survey and hotline for use.

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