'A' to 'F': Leapfrog grades 2,571 hospitals on safety

15 hospitals received an 'F' grade

The Leapfrog Group in its latest Hospital Safety Scores awarded nearly 800 hospitals an "A" grade for safety—but gave more than 1,100 organizations a grade of "C" or below.

For its latest scores, the Leapfrog Group assigned "A" to "F" letter grades to 2,571 hospitals based on their performance on 15 process/structural measures and 15 outcome measures. The group used data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the American Hospital Association's annual survey, CDCCMS, and the Leapfrog Hospital Survey.

The group releases the scores twice a year. Since its last report in October 2015, Leapfrog has added:

  • Several patient experience measures that the group says are linked to improved patient outcomes, including communication about medication, communication from doctors and RNs, and staff responsiveness; and
  • New measures for MRSA Bacteremia and Clostridium Difficile infections.

Leapfrog also removed five Surgical Care Improvement Project measures that will no longer be reported on Medicare's Hospital Compare website.

Report findings

In the latest report:

  • 798 hospitals received an "A";
  • 639 received a "B";
  • 957 received a "C"
  • 162 received a "D"; and
  • 15 received an "F."

Compared with the October 2015 report, 25 more hospitals received an "A" and 19 fewer hospitals received an "F." However, 101 more hospitals received a "C," "D," or "F." While hospital grades can fluctuate from update-to-update, Leapfrog says 153 hospitals have consistently earned an "A" grade in all of the group's updates for the past three years.

    In the latest report, Vermont had the highest percentage of hospitals (83.3 percent) that received an "A" grade, followed by Maine (62.5 percent), Rhode Island (62.5 percent), Massachusetts (62.1 percent), and Minnesota (55.3 percent). Meanwhile, no hospital received an "A" in Alaska, Wyoming, or Washington, D.C.

    Start your 'journey to zero' infections today

    Analysis: 'A'-grade hospitals save lives

    According to an analysis of the Leapfrog data conducted by Matt Austin and Jordan Derk of the John Hopkins University School of Medicine's Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, patients at hospitals that received an "A" grade faced a lower risk of avoidable death than those at other hospitals. Specifically, patients at:

    • "B"-grade hospitals had an 8.5 percent higher relative risk of avoidable death;
    • "C"-grade hospitals had a 35.2 percent higher relative risk; and
    •  "D"- and "F"-grade hospitals had a 49.8 percent higher relative risk.

    The analysis found that nearly 33,500 patients' lives could be saved annually if all hospitals performed like "A"-grade hospitals on patient safety (Powderly, Healthcare Finance News, 4/25; Punke, Becker's Infection Control & Clinical Quality, 4/25; Leapfrog methodology, Spring 2016;  Leapfrog methodology changes, accessed 4/25; Leapfrog release, 4/25; Austin/Derk analysis, April 2016; Leapfrog state rankings, accessed 4/25).

    Reducing patient harm: Why nurses are key to preventing never events

    Across the country, one in ten patients get a hospital-acquired condition (HAC) during their hospital stay. HACs can have serious consequences—beyond the patient safety issue, they cost a lot to treat.

    Preventing never events isn't getting easier, but no one is better equipped than nurses. Watch the video to learn more about the financial cost of HACs and the three key things to remember to prevent them.


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