Leapfrog Group gives 1 in 3 hospitals an A for patient safety

Nearly 1 in 3 eligible hospitals earned an “A” grade for patient safety, with some states making significant improvements, according to the latest assessment from a patient safety watchdog.

Of the more than 2,600 hospitals general, acute care hospitals assessed by the Leapfrog Group, 844 earned an “A,” while 658 received a “B.” When states were ranked by percentage of hospitals with “A” grades, Hawaii came in first with 2 out of 3, while North Dakota came in last with none of the six assessed hospitals making an “A.”

In last year’s assessment, Maine led for highest percentage of “A” grades, FierceHealthcare previously reported, but the new results bump it to third place.

California had the most “A" hospitals overall, with 81. Idaho, which was ranked  45th three years ago in terms of proportion of “A” grades, soared to the number two spot in 2016. North Carolina also improved considerably, improving from the 19th slot in spring 2013 to number five this year, according to Leapfrog.

Vermont, which had no “A” hospitals in 2015, this year made eighth place on the last, with 50 percent of its eligible hospitals receiving the top score. However, a report last year found the frequent contradictions between Leapfrog’s rankings and other ranking services can often confuse consumers, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

“In the fast-changing healthcare landscape, patients should be aware that hospitals are not all equally competent at protecting them from injuries and infections,” Leapfrog Group CEO Leah Binder said in a statement. “We believe everyone has the right to know which hospitals are the safest and encourage community members to call on their local hospitals to change, and on their elected officials to spur them to action. States that put a priority on safety have shown remarkable improvements.”