The Leapfrog Group, a non-profit group that advocates for quality and safety in the U.S. health system, recently published its Fall 2014 “Hospital Safety Score.” The rating system is a twice-a-year grading of 2,500 hospitals across the country. According to the Washington, D.C. organization, each year 1,000 people die from preventable hospital errors.
The rating combines information from national health care organizations, such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. All totaled, the information includes 28 data points that measure a hospital’s ability to keep patients safe from preventable medical errors.
A hospital’s final grade is composed of two categories:
- Process/Structural Measures – how often patients received recommended treatments for a medical procedure or condition, and the environment in which the patients receive the care
- Outcome Measures – what mistakes are made that harm patients while receiving care in the hospitals
The published grades are either A, B, C, D or F, with F being a failing grade.
Patient Safety Grades for Missouri and Illinois Hospitals
So how did the hospitals in Missouri and Illinois score?
- Illinois finished 6th of out the 50 states with 45 percent of its hospitals receiving an “A”
- Missouri finished 29th, with 18 percent of its hospitals receiving an “A”
Twenty-six hospitals in the St. Louis were ranked. Eleven received a “C” or lower grade:
- One St. Louis area hospital received an “F”
- Ten St. Louis area hospitals received a “C”
- Ten St. Louis area hospitals received a “B”
- Five St. Louis area hospitals received an “A”
Even top hospitals and medical professionals make mistakes. When they do, they should be held responsible for the harm they cause. If you believe a family member has been a victim of a medical error, you may want to consult an attorney experienced in investigating cases of medical malpractice.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.