Less than one third of all Missouri’s hospitals received the highest grade for patient safety in a recent nationwide ranking of healthcare facilities.
The Leapfrog Group is a nonprofit organization focused on improving healthcare in the United States. It reviews over 2,600 acute-care hospitals for patient safety twice a year and assigns each hospital a grade, with “A” being the highest and “F” a failing grade.
The organization compiles results from its own annual hospital survey with patient safety benchmarks from other organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to determine the hospital grades. Because the grades are largely based on publicly available data, the grades cover most – but not all – U.S. hospitals.
Measuring Factors Leading to Serous Medical Errors
The grades encompass two broad categories used to gauge serious and preventable medical errors at the facilities. One is referred to as Process/Structural Measures. These evaluate how well hospitals follow certain steps that can prevent patients from needless harm, such as hand hygiene, doctor communication, promoting a safety culture, and the responsiveness of healthcare providers.
The other category is called Outcome Measures. This documents the actual cases of medical errors found in the hospitals, such as hospital-acquired infections, foreign objects left in patients during surgery, and patient falls.
All in all, 30 data points are incorporated into Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grades.
Grading St Louis Hospitals for Patient Safety
Only 28 percent of all Missouri graded hospitals received an “A.” This placed Missouri 27th out of the nation’s 50 states for hospital patient safety.
Leapfrog graded 26 hospitals in the St. Louis metropolitan area, which includes a portion of nearby Illinois. Only seven received the highest grade of “A.” Thirteen hospitals received a “C” grade, five were given a “B,” and one hospital received a “D.”
While no St. Louis hospital received a failing grade, it is telling that so few hospitals were awarded the highest grade for patient safety. This should alert administrators, physicians and nurses that they need to make patient safety a higher priority.
As this grading system reveals, there are numerous reasons why preventable errors are made in hospitals, be it overall culture or individual carelessness. If you were seriously injured or lost a family member during a hospital stay due to a preventable mistake in care, an attorney who represents victims of medical malpractice can investigate on your behalf.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.
Authored by: Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C. posted in Medical Malpractice on Thursday, November 10, 2016.