Patients 50% more likely to die avoidable deaths in hospitals that score lowest in safety

Hospitals could save at least 33,000 lives each year if they followed the patient safety policies and procedures of the highest-scoring hospitals in The Leapfrog Group's Spring 2016 Hospital Safety Score update, a new study finds

In all, an estimated 206,021 people die avoidable deaths in U.S. hospitals each year, the analysis showed.

The study accompanies the release of The Leapfrog Group's spring safety score update, which assigns letter grades to more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals based on an assessment of medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections.

In the companion research, the Johns Hopkins Medicine's Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality determined there's a 9 percent higher risk of avoidable death in hospitals that score a B than in hospitals that receive an A, a 35 percent higher risk in C hospitals and 50 percent higher risk in D and F hospitals.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Nearly 800 hospitals earned an A, 639 received a B, 957 got a C, 162 earned a D and 15 received an F.
  • Since 2013, when Leapfrog began to assign safety scores, 153 hospitals have received straight As.
  • Vermont had the highest proportion of A hospitals, at 83 percent. Meanwhile, no hospitals in the District of Columbia received the designation for the third straight year, and Arkansas and Wyoming also didn't have any A hospitals.

The April update also includes patient experience measures from the first time, including results of patient surveys about several areas of communication. It also includes scores for the first time on MRSA and C. difficile, two hard-to-control hospital-acquired infections.

To learn more:
- see the announcement
check out the report (.pdf)