The Leapfrog Group on Tuesday released its fall 2022 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, with around 30% of hospitals earning an "A" grade.
For its fall 2022 report, Leapfrog assigned "A" to "F" letter grades to 2,862 general acute care hospitals across the United States based on how well the facilities protected patients from "preventable medical errors, accidents, injuries, and infections," according to the organization's news release.
Hospitals were assessed using 22 evidence-based measures of patient safety, which includes CMS Medicare PSI 90 Patient Safety and Adverse Events Composite. These measures were selected by a panel of patient safety experts who analyzed the data and determined the weight of each measure by its evidence, opportunity for improvement, and impact.
Data for these measures were taken from CMS, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, as well as other supplemental data sources.
The Leapfrog ratings, which are updated twice a year, focus on acute-care hospitals. The ratings do not cover facilities such as critical access hospitals, certain specialty hospitals, and federal hospitals because those facilities lack certain publicly available data.
How hospitals performed
Of the 2,862 hospitals included in the latest report:
- 30% earned an "A" rating
- 28% earned a "B" rating
- 36% earned a "C" rating
- 6% earned a "D" rating
- 1% earning an "F" rating
Across the country, the top ten states with the highest percentages of "A" ranked hospitals were:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
In comparison, there were no "A" ranked hospitals in North Dakota, Vermont, or the District of Columbia.
Compared to the fall 2021 report, 18.7% of hospitals saw their safety scores increase, 22.1% received lower scores, and 59.2% had no change.
To see how your hospital fared, visit Leapfrog Group's website.
How hospital safety has improved over the last decade
According to Leapfrog, the fall 2022 report marks the 10th anniversary of the of the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades. Although the measures used to assess hospital safety have changed over time, those that have been reliably tracked show a consistent pattern of improvement.
Leapfrog found that improvements in five outcome measures that could be tracked saved more than 16,000 lives over the last 10 years.
Measures that have seen significant improvement over the last decade include some never events, which refer to medical events that should never happen. Two never events that decreased include falls and traumas (27.1% decline) and objects unintentionally being left in patients' bodies after surgeries (28.9% decline).
Before the pandemic, there was also encouraging progress on several health care associated infections, such as:
- A 43% decrease in central line-associated bloodstream infections
- A 22% decrease in methicillin-resistant Staphlococcus aureus (MRSA) infections
- An 8% decrease in Clostridiodes difficile (C. Diff) infections
"Never in history have we seen across-the-board improvement in patient safety until this last decade, coinciding with the history of the Hospital Safety Grade," said Leapfrog president and CEO Leah Binder. "We salute hospitals for this milestone and encourage them to accelerate their hard work saving patient lives. For a long time, the health care community tried to improve safety, but progress stalled. The big difference over this decade is that for the first time, we publicly reported each hospital's record on patient safety, and that galvanized the kind of change we all hoped for. It's not enough change, but we are on the right track."
According to Akin Demehin, senior director for quality and patient safety policy at the American Hospital Association, the pandemic and its many associated challenges likely impacted hospitals' ability to sustain improvement on safety measures, but hospitals are currently working to reverse any declines in the safety and quality of their care.
"Hospitals are really redoubling and refocusing their efforts to ensure their care is as safe and high quality and equitable as possible," Demehin said. Some strategies to reduce adverse events include creating antibiotic stewardship programs and using EHRs to analyze safety trends. (Leapfrog news release, 11/16; Leapfrog methodology, accessed 11/16; Devereaux, Modern Healthcare, 11/16)