- Leapfrog, the nonprofit group that grades hospitals on safety, released its annual rankings of 2,600 hospitals and found 32% earned an A, 26% earned a B and 36% earned a C. Less than 1% of hospitals graded failed.
- Oregon nabbed the top patient safety spot as a majority (58%) of its hospitals earned an A. Virginia (53%), Maine (50%), Massachusetts (48%) and Utah (48%) rounded out the top five performing states for safety.
- Some states did not have a single hospital that earned an A, including Wyoming and Arkansas, along with Washington, D.C.
The accuracy of third-party hospital rankings is unclear, but they can be helpful for patients looking to shop between providers for pre-planned care or procedures.
The hospital safety watchdog also looked at the dangers of hospitals and the estimate of deaths likely to occur each year due to errors, accidents, injuries and infections. Overall, there are likely more than 161,000 avoidable deaths each year — an improvement from the group's original analysis in 2016 that estimated 206,000 avoidable deaths.
The improvement is likely attributable to incremental improvements made by hospitals and changes to how the data is measured.
"We applaud the Leapfrog group for publishing this information," Steve Wojcik, vice president of public policy at National Business Group on Health told Healthcare Dive in a statement. "Public data like these spur hospitals and other medical facilities to continue improving patient safety and quality."
The report, issued by the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, found patients at D and F hospitals face a 92% higher risk of avoidable death. Even patients at B hospitals faced a 35% greater risk of avoidable death.
But, according to the report, hospitals with the highest grade are not perfect. The report estimates about 37,000 avoidable deaths are likely to occur at hospitals with an A grade.
Researchers used American Hospital Association annual survey data to identify the number of admissions in 2017 as well as Leapfrog safety data to reach their conclusions.
"We used the distribution of hospital admissions across each Hospital Safety Grade letter grade with the number of lives lost per 1,000 admissions per letter grade to estimate the total number of lives lost for hospitals in each letter grade," researchers said.