Leapfrog's spring safety grades show patient safety improvement: 5 things to know

The Leapfrog Group released its spring 2017 Hospital Safety Grades Wednesday, assigning A through F letter grades to 2,639 hospitals based on 30 evidence-based patient safety measures.

Here are five things to know about this spring's scores.

1. Leapfrog used the same methodology it established in spring 2016 for this update. The group uses publicly reported data as well as data from the Leapfrog Hospital Survey to grade hospitals. Grades incorporate process and structural measures as well as outcome measures, like pressure ulcers, surgical-site infections and Clostridium difficile infections, among others.

2. Hospitals need to have enough safety data available to receive a letter grade. If a hospital is missing more than nine process measures or more than five outcome measures, it is not graded. This spring, 2,639 hospitals received a grade, up from the fall, when 2,633 hospitals were graded.

3. More hospitals earned above C grades and fewer earned Fs this spring compared to the fall 2016 grades. See the breakdown below.

  • 823 earned an A (down from 844 in the fall)
  • 706 earned a B (up from 658 in the fall)
  • 933 earned a C (down from 954 in the fall)
  • 167 earned a D (up from 157 in the fall)
  • 10 earned an F (down from 20 in the fall)

4. Leapfrog has been grading hospitals since 2012, and 63 hospitals have earned an A grade on every scoring update since its inception.

5. While more hospitals are earning higher grades, Leapfrog President and CEO Leah Binder says more progress toward safe care is needed. "When we launched the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade in 2012, our goal was to alert consumers to the hazards involved in a hospital stay and help them choose the safest option. We also hoped to galvanize hospitals to make safety the first priority day in and day out," she said. "So far, we've been pleased with the increase in public awareness and hospitals' commitment to solving this terrible problem. But we need to accelerate the pace of change, because too many people are still getting harmed or killed."

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

Correction: This article was updated April 13 to correct how many hospitals received As in the fall of 2016. The original article incorrectly stated 798 hospitals earned As in the fall, when in reality, 823 did. In the spring of 2016, 798 hospitals earned As. We regret the error.

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