3 Parts of the U.S. Where No Hospitals Earn Top Marks for Safety

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Sad woman in a hospital bed
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Nobody likes to get sick, but it’s especially bad to fall into ill health in Vermont, North Dakota or the District of Columbia.

Those are the only areas in the nation that do not have any hospitals that earned a grade of A, the top rating for safety, according to the Leapfrog Group’s fall 2022 Hospital Safety Grade report.

Overall, 30% of hospitals nationwide received a grade of A, 28% received a B, 36% received a C, 6% received a D and 1% received an F.

The 10 states with the highest percentage of A-rated hospitals are:

  • New Hampshire
  • Virginia
  • Utah
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Maine
  • Pennsylvania
  • Florida

The Leapfrog Group is a nonprofit organization that bills itself as “driving a movement for giant leaps for patient safety.”

The group gives letter grades to about 3,000 U.S. general hospitals. Hospitals are graded based on their effectiveness in protecting patients from preventable medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections.

Around 200,000 people die each year from hospital errors, injuries, accidents and infections, according to the group.

On a bright note, it appears that patient safety is improving over time, according to the Leapfrog Group. It estimates that such improvements have saved 16,000 lives over the past decade.

In particular, the incidence of two problems have decreased by 25% each:

  • Incidents of falls and trauma
  • Incidents of objects unintentionally left in a body after surgery

Progress also has been made in preventing infections associated with health care. In a summary of its fall 2022 findings, Leah Binder, president and CEO of the Leapfrog Group, says:

“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.”

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:

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