Top 10 states with the highest hospital safety scores

October 31, 2016

The Leapfrog Group recently released its latest hospital safety grades, and they indicate some interesting trends on a state-by-state basis.

The Leapfrog Group recently released its latest hospital safety grades, and they indicate some interesting trends on a state-by-state basis.

The grades, which are released biannually, assign hospitals a score of “A” through “F,” reveal how well local and regional hospitals protect patients from accidents, injuries and infections.

Of the 2,812 hospitals graded for fall 2016, 844 received an “A,” 658 received a “B,” 954 received a “C,” 157 received a “D” and 20 received an “F.”

Several states have improved on safety scores since 2013. For example, North Carolina climbed from #19 in the spring 2013 to #5 in fall 2016, and Idaho moved from #45 in spring 2013 to #2 in fall 2016. 

“Many hospitals have made significant strides in patient safety since the inception of the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade in 2012, and overall we are seeing more hospitals achieve an ‘A’ (844 this fall),” says Erica Mobley, director of communications and development for The Leapfrog Group. “Still, no hospital is perfectly safe, and even ‘A’ graded hospitals should constantly be assessing their performance and looking to make improvements that will protect their patients from harm.”

The hospital grades are determined using 30 evidence-based measures of patient safety that are split into two domains: process/structural measures and outcome measures. Measures include those related to:

  • Identification and mitigation of risks and hazards;

  • Medication reconciliation;

  • Doctor communication;

  • Discharge information; and

  • MRSA.

The measures are collected and publicly reported by The Leapfrog Group and CMS. Data from the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey and HIT Supplement are also used.

Next: Ten best and worst states

 

 

Best states

#1. Hawaii. Sixty-seven percent of hospitals in this state received an “A” grade.

#2 Idaho. Sixty-four percent of hospitals in this state received an “A” grade.

#3. Maine. Sixty-three percent of hospitals in this state received an “A” grade.

#4. Wisconsin. Sixty-one percent of hospitals in this state received an “A” grade.

#5. North Carolina. Fifty-five percent of hospitals in this state received an “A” grade.

#6. Utah. Fifty-two percent of hospitals in this state received an “A” grade.

#7. Massachusetts. Fifty-two percent of hospitals in this state received an “A” grade.

#8. Vermont. Fifty percent of hospitals in this state received an “A” grade.

#9. Oregon. Forty-nine percent of hospitals in this state received an “A” grade.

#10. Virginia. Forty-seven percent of hospitals in this state received an “A” grade.

Worst states

The bottom ten states are Washington, Arkansas, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, West Virginia, New York, Arkansas, Delaware, North Dakota. All of these states had less than 20% of hospitals receive an “A” grade. Washington D.C. also ranked near the bottom.

“No hospital can afford complacency when it comes to patient safety,” says Mobley. “Protecting patients from harm and error must be an institutional priority that starts in the executive suite and filters down to staff at all levels. Hospitals that focus on safety 24/7 are consistently receiving an ‘A’ on the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, while those hospitals that turn their attention elsewhere have seen their grade slip.”