Going to the hospital can save your life. If you are a patient at a hospital with a poor safety ranking, however, it could cost you your life.
That’s the conclusion of a recent report by the nonprofit group Leapfrog, which also gives 2600 hospitals a Hospital Safety Grade twice a year based on 28 measures of safety.
The report, prepared for the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, found that an estimated 160,000 lives are lost annually from avoidable medical errors, and hospitals with a poor safety grade have twice the mortality rate of hospitals with a good grade.
To put that more precisely, at A-rated hospitals, an estimated 3.2 avoidable deaths occur per 1000 patients. By contrast, at D and F rated hospitals, that number almost doubles to 6.2 deaths per 1000 patients. The result is that patients at lower ranked hospitals face greater danger when they check in.
So, how safe are Illinois’ hospitals? Overall, Illinois ranks 14th in the nation for patient safety. Individually, Leapfrog gave 42 hospitals in Illinois an A grade; 30 hospitals received Bs; 33 got Cs, and 5 got Ds. No hospital got an F.
Among the top-ranked hospitals were the Northshore University HealthSystem hospitals, with all 4 hospitals receiving A grades, and the Amita Health System hospitals, with 10 out of 14 hospitals receiving A grades. One individual hospital scoring exceptionally well, The University of Chicago Medical Center, has received an A grade 15 times in a row.
Unfortunately, five Chicago area hospitals earned a D grade for patient safety this spring. The five hospitals are: Loretto, Jackson Park, Stroger, Mount Sinai, and Weiss Memorial. Representatives for those hospitals claim that the data used in the grading system is old, and they are making improvements to patient safety.
But, according to the report by Leapfrog, choosing between a hospital that receives an A grade and one–like the Chicago hospitals above– that is getting a D or F grade could be the difference between life and death.
That is why groups like Leapfrog and their safety reports are so important. Not only do they inform the public of the dangers but they also push hospitals to improve their patient safety measures. Over 50,000 lives could be saved if all hospitals performed at the same level as A graded hospitals.
Some of the criteria looked at by Leapfrog for these Safety Grades include hand hygiene, bedsores, infections, physician staffing, falls, and intensive care units. For a more detailed account of the safety measures analyzed, check Here.
To find out your hospital’s safety grade, check Here.
If you or a loved one have been injured by an avoidable medical error at a hospital, please call our experienced medical malpractice attorneys at 630-527-1595 for a FREE EVALUATION of your case.
For more information, go to: https://www.hospitalsafetygrade.org/media/file/Lives-Saved-White-Paper-FINAL.pdf