Consumer Reports ranks top 10 safest U.S. hospitals

U.S. hospitals vary widely on safety and likelihood of death from avoidable surgical complications, according to new rankings from Consumer Reports.

To determine the rankings of the safest and least safe hospitals across the country, Consumer Reports combined data on readmissions, mortality (including deaths from heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia within 30 days of admission and deaths from avoidable surgical complications), CT scanning, hospital-acquired infections, and communication on medications and discharge into a single score out of 100.

The top 10 safest hospitals were:

  1. Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta, Maine, with a score of 78

  2. Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall, Mich., with a score of 77

  3. Aurora Medical Center of Oshkosh (Wis.), with a score of 75

  4. Lutheran Hospital in Cleveland with a score of 75

  5. Palm Drive Hospital in Sebastopol, Calif., with a score of 74

  6. Marshalltown (Iowa) Medical & Surgical Center with a score of 74

  7. Hillside Hospital in Pulaski, Tenn., with a score of 73

  8. Margaret R. Pardee Memorial Hospital in Hendersonville, N.C., with a score of 73

  9. Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville, Mich., with a score of 73

  10. St. John Medical Center in Westlake, Ohio, with a score of 73

Miles Memorial Hospital's small-town setting contributed to its safety outcomes, Cindy Coyne, R.N., told Consumer Reports. "We are a very small community, and our patients are our neighbors, friends and family," she said. "We work hard to take care of them."

Unlike the top 10, which were spread out across the U.S., the 10 bottom-scoring hospitals in safety were primarily concentrated in the Southeast:

  1. Bolivar Medical Center in Cleveland, Miss., with a score of 11

  2. Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, with a score of 19

  3. Harris Hospital in Newport, Ark., with a score of 20

  4. Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset, Ky., with a score of 20

  5. Delta Regional Medical Center in Greenville, Miss., with a score of 21

  6. Beckley (W.V.) ARH Hospital, with a score of 21

  7. Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare in Utica, N.Y., with a score of 23

  8. Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center in Poplar, Mo., with a score of 24

  9. Kings County Hospital Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., with a score of 24

  10. Ayovelles Hospital in Marksville, La., with a score of 25

Various organizations rank hospitals, using various formulae. U.S. News recently changed its ranking methodology to more heavily emphasize patient safety, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- here's the Consumer Reports article