A grades up, F grades down in updated Leapfrog hospital safety scores: 5 things to know

The Leapfrog Group released its spring 2016 Hospital Safety Score update Monday, assigning A through F letter grades to 2,571 hospitals in the U.S. Here are five things to know about the spring update to Leapfrog's safety scores.

1. Leapfrog releases safety score updates twice a year, but this spring's scores included new factors, including patient satisfaction outcomes like nurse communication, doctor communication and communication about discharge, as well as infection measures for Clostridium difficile and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

2. The breakdown of grades earned by the 2,571 scored hospitals is as follows:

  • 798 earned an A (up from 773 in the fall)
  • 639 earned a B (down from 724 in the fall)
  • 957 earned a C (up from 866 in the fall)
  • 162 earned a D (up from 133 in the fall)
  • 15 earned an F (down from 34 in the fall)

3. Of the 798 hospitals that earned A's this spring, 153 have earned an A grade in each update for the last three years, becoming a distinct group of "Straight A" Leapfrog hospitals.

4. Vermont had the highest percentage of A hospitals this spring, as five of its six graded hospitals earned the highest score. On the other hand, no hospitals in Alaska, Wyoming or the District of Columbia earned an A grade this spring.

5. According to Leapfrog data and analysis from John Hopkins Medicine's Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, B, C, D and F hospitals have higher risk of avoidable death than their A counterparts. In fact, there is a 9 percent higher risk of avoidable death in B hospitals, 35 percent higher in C and 50 percent higher in D and F hospitals. Additionally, roughly 33,440 lives could be saved if all hospitals had the same performance as A hospitals.

Click here for more information on Leapfrog's safety scores.

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