Leapfrog Group releases hospital grades, medical errors calculator

Did your hospital make the grade? The Leapfrog Group has unveiled its spring 2017 Hospital Safety Grade, and 823 hospitals got an A.

report card, report, a, f, grade, glasses, desk

Not every hospital makes the grade. Literally.

The Leapfrog Group recently released its spring 2017 Hospital Safety Grade, which rates hospitals based on their error, accident and infection rates.

The biannual program, which began in 2012, assigns A, B, C, D and F grades to general acute care hospitals across the country. Each letter grade is based on an analysis of 30 patient safety measures.

This year, Leapfrog graded 2,639 hospitals. Of those, 823 earned an A, 706 earned a B, 933 earned a C, 167 earned a D and 10 earned an F.

Leapfrog also analyzed which states had the highest percentage of A hospitals. Maine took the lead, with 68.8 percent of its hospitals earning A grades. Hawaii, Oregon, Wisconsin and Idaho were also among the top five states with the highest percentage of A hospitals. Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia and North Dakota bottomed out the list, as none of their hospitals earned As.

In its Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog highlighted a rather grim statistic: An estimated 1,000-plus people die each day from preventable medical errors. In a statement, Leapfrog President and CEO Leah Binder touched on the need for additional safety measures:

When we launched the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade in 2012, our goal was to alert consumers to the hazards involved in a hospital stay and help them choose the safest option. We also hoped to galvanize hospitals to make safety the first priority day in and day out. So far, we’ve been pleased with the increase in public awareness and hospitals’ commitment to solving this terrible problem. But we need to accelerate the pace of change, because too many people are still getting harmed or killed.

To that end, Leapfrog released its Lives and Dollars Lost to Medical Errors Calculator, a tool that does exactly what it sounds like it does. Leapfrog originally released the calculator in 2013 as the Hidden Surcharge Calculator.

The Lives and Dollars Lost to Medical Errors Calculator includes insight from a 2016 analysis led by Leapfrog and the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins. The analysis outlined how D and F hospitals have a 50 percent higher risk of mortality compared to A hospitals. If every hospital starts performing at A levels, more than 33,000 lives could be saved.

Not everyone can get an A every time. But Leapfrog’s grading system is far more important than a report card from school. Instead of only impacting your GPA, Leapfrog’s system impacts human lives. It’s time for all 2,639 hospitals to strive toward an A grade.

Photo: michaelquirk, Getty Images