In an effort to improve the quality of care provided at hospitals, a familiar concept for evaluating achievement will now be used by one nonprofit group to rate hospitals: letter grades.
Consumer Affairs reports that the nonprofit The Leapfrog Group and a Blue Ribbon Panel evaluated over 2,650 hospitals from around the United States and assigned them a letter grade based a number of factors, including patient safety. The letter grades are intended to provide patients important information about the level of care they can expect at hospitals so an informed decision about where to seek care can be made to avoid incidents of medical malpractice.
Of the hospitals that were graded, almost 730 received an “A” grade and approximately 680 received a “B” grade, the rest – just over 1240 hospitals – received a grad of “C” or lower. The ratings and scores are available to all patients free of charge.
The Leapfrog Group estimates that preventable medical mistakes claim the lives of almost 400 patients every day, leading to more than 180,000 fatalities from “hospital accidents, errors and infections” yearly. The group also notes that approximately one in four Medicare patients will acquire a potentially fatal condition while in the hospital. Common medical errors include:
- Surgical mistakes
- Medication errors
Being injured at the hands of a medical professional can be devastating physically, emotionally and financially. Doctors and nurses can be held liable for their negligent actions through medical malpractice lawsuits. While lawsuit cannot undo the harm done to you, the compensation received can help pay medical bills, long-term rehabilitation costs, and help with your pain and suffering.