32% of hospitals earn 'A' safety grade in Leapfrog's spring update

Leapfrog released its spring 2019 Hospital Safety Grades May 15, assigning "A" through "F" letter grades to more than 2,600 acute care hospitals for patient safety performance.

Leapfrog releases the safety grades every fall and spring. The ratings are based on 28 quality measures compiled by the Leapfrog Group, CMS, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the CDC, and the American Hospital Association. Areas of measurement include nurse communication, hand hygiene adherence and surgical site infection rates, among others.

Here are five things to know:

1. Of the more than 2,600 hospitals graded, 32 percent earned an "A" grade, 26 percent earned a "B," 36 percent earned a "C," 6 percent earned a "D," and less than 1 percent earned an "F."

2. Wyoming, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Delaware and North Dakota had no hospitals with "A" grades this spring.

3. The five states with the highest percentage of "A" hospitals were Oregon (58 percent), Virginia (53 percent), Maine (50 percent), Massachusetts (48.3 percent) and Utah (48 percent).

4. For the spring update, Leapfrog contracted with the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality to update its mortality estimates linked to medical errors, infections and injuries at graded hospitals. Researchers found that patients treated at hospitals given a "D" or "F" safety grade face a 92 percent higher risk of avoidable death, compared to 88 percent for "C" hospitals and a 35 percent for "B" hospitals.

5. Forty-one hospitals nationwide have earned an "A" rating in every scoring update since the ranking system's inception in spring 2012.

To view Leapfrog's full ratings methodology, click here.

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