3 Places Where No Hospitals Earn Top Marks for Safety

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Nobody likes to get sick, especially in the age of COVID-19, but it’s especially bad to fall into ill health in Delaware, North Dakota or the District of Columbia.

Those are the only areas in the nation that do not have any hospitals that earned an “A” rating for safety, according to the Leapfrog Group’s fall 2021 Hospital Safety Grade report. However, West Virginia and New York are not far behind, with only 4.6% and 8% of their hospitals, respectively, earning Leapfrog’s highest rating.

In all other states, at least 10% of the hospitals received an A rating.

The Leapfrog Group bills itself as a nonprofit organization “driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care.”

The group issues hospital safety grades twice a year, assigning a letter of A, B, C, D or F to general hospitals in the U.S. These ratings reflect how well hospitals guard against errors, accidents, injuries and infections that harm or kill patients — information that the Leapfrog Group hopes will help consumers make informed decisions.

More than 250,000 people die each year from hospital errors, injuries, accidents and infections, according to the group.

The data that informs the ratings primarily come from the Leapfrog Hospital Survey and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Most of this data does not yet reflect hospitalizations during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Leapfrog Group notes that it still can help patients during the pandemic. President and CEO Leah Binder adds:

“As the pandemic continues, we all have heightened awareness of the importance of hospitals in our communities and in our lives. It is critical that all hospitals put patient safety first. Now we have more information on more hospitals than ever before, so people can protect themselves and their families.”

The latest Hospital Safety Grade report covers 2,901 hospitals, the largest number yet.

The most common rating was a C — followed closely by the rating of A:

  • A — 32% of hospitals received this rating
  • B — 26%
  • C — 35%
  • D — 7%
  • F — less than 1%

The states with the largest shares of A-rated hospitals are:

  1. Virginia — 56.2% of hospitals are A-rated
  2. North Carolina — 55.1%
  3. Idaho — 53.9%
  4. Massachusetts — 51.7%
  5. Colorado — 48.8%
  6. Utah — 48.2%
  7. Hawaii — 46.2%
  8. Pennsylvania — 45.9%
  9. New Jersey — 42.9%
  10. Michigan — 42.7%

To look up the grades of hospitals in your area, visit the Leapfrog Group’s rating website.

To learn more ways to evaluate hospitals in your area, check out: