Watchdog group reports patient safety scores for U.S hospitals

The Leapfrog Group, a national healthcare watchdog group, recently released the results of its new patient safety survey. The results reveal that hospital errors are still a problem in Illinois and throughout the entire U.S. These errors can lead to patients suffering undue harm, serious injuries or even a wrongful death.

With the help of patient safety experts, the Leapfrog Group analyzed public data of more than 2,600 hospitals in the U.S. After reviewing reported patient injuries, medical mistakes, medication errors and hospital infections, the group then calculated a Hospital Safety Score for each facility and hospitals received grades ranging from an A to an F.

In response to the results of the survey, the Leapfrog Group pointed out that patients deserve to be made aware of the occurrences of medical errors so that they can take certain measures to better protect their safety and the safety of their loved ones during hospital stays.

According to the Leapfrog Group, patient safety does not appear to be improving amongst our nation’s hospitals. The group estimates that hospital mistakes, infections and accidents account for more than 180,000 patient deaths each year. Medication errors appear to be especially common. And about 25 percent of Medicare patients are harmed by hospital errors, infections or accidents, the survey suggests.

Although many hospitals did receive high grades for patient safety, there were still more than 1,200 hospitals surveyed that received low grades of a C, D or F.

To help patients make informed decisions about where they choose to receive treatment, the group has created a website that displays the grades each surveyed hospital received. The group said that it will update these grades on an annual basis.

Source: Healthcare IT News, “Leapfrog grades hospitals A to F on patient safety,” Bernie Monegain, June 6, 2012

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