Only 10 hospitals were given failing grades in the spring 2017 edition of the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report, though “C” grades remained the most common and four states had no hospitals earning top marks.
Of the 2,639 hospitals rated in the report, 823 earned an "A," 706 earned a "B," 933 earned a "C," 167 earned a "D" and 10 earned an "F," an improvement over the 20 hospitals that were given failing grades in the fall 2016 report.
Those receiving the lowest marks in this report were:
1. Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District, Brawley, California
2. El Centro Regional Medical Center, El Centro, California
3. Victor Valley Global Medical Center, Victorville, California
4. Downey Regional Medical Center, Downey, California
5. Memorial Hospital of Gardena, Gardena, California
6. Olympia Medical Center, Los Angeles, California
7. Flushing Hospital Medical Center, Flushing, New York
8. SUNY Downstate Medical Center University Hospital of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, New York
9. Mercy Regional Medical Center of Lorain, Lorain, Ohio
10. Highline Medical Center, Burien, Washington
Leapfrog focused on the long-term picture in its press release, noting there have nationwide improvements in patient safety, like a 21 percent decline in hospital-acquired conditions, since it first started grading hospitals 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," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog. "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."
A whitepaper released by Leapfrog in 2016 said “33,000 lives could be saved if all hospitals performed at the level of A-graded hospitals.”
Focusing on this year’s report, Maine was the top-ranked state based on the number of “A” hospitals, with 11 out of its 16 facilities scored achieving the highest grade. It just barely beat out Hawaii, which slid to no. 2 after topping the state rankings in fall 2016 report.
On the other end of the spectrum, the same four states which had no “A” hospitals in the last report were again at the bottom of the new rankings: Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia and North Dakota.
Other states have improved over time. For example, Vermont was without an “A” hospital in 2015, but it ranked ninth in the latest report, with three of its six surveyed hospitals earning the top grade.