Ratings from the annual Hospital Safety Grade Report from Leapfrog Group are now available and 15 Illinois hospitals have lost their ‘A’ rating since last year. This year, Illinois has 30 hospitals who received an A, down from 45 just last year. The Hospital Safety Grade Report “scores hospitals on how safe they keep their patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.” According to the Leapfrog Group, the focus is to bring patient safety information to the public and reduce the number of hospital mistakes and injuries, incidents that are responsible for 440,000 deaths each year.
Data is collected from hospital surveys, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and secondary sources, including the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey. In all, 27 different patient safety measures are evaluated, the data is weighted and then each hospital is given a rating (A-F). It is important to note that free standing pediatric hospitals, long term care facilities, and specialty centers (such as cancer treatment hospitals) are not included in Leapfrog’s annual Hospital Safety Grade Report.
Of the 27 measures, 12 related to Process and Structural Measures (everything from ‘Hand Hygiene’ to ‘Identification and Mitigation of Risks and Hazards’) and 15 related to Outcome Measures (from MRSA and CDiff infections, all the way to death during surgery). To view the 27 measures, please click here.
Hospital Employees First-Hand Knowledge of Preventable Errors a Factor in Rating
It is also important to know that those with the most accurate information regarding patient safety events, a hospital’s own employees, are given a lengthy survey that questions their awareness of patient safety events, the outcome of such safety events, management’s response to these events (informing the family, changing policies, improving training), and their knowledge of and adherence to safety procedures. A low rating is certainly not something to ignore. In addition to other data, the fact that weight is given to employees’ answers regarding whether or not they know a safety policy or are aware of a safety event is significant. As patients and potential patients, we have a right to know how safe a hospital is that is treating us or a loved one.
Local Hospital Receives an ‘F’ for Patient Safety
In the city of Chicago, several hospitals received an ‘A’ rating, including University of Chicago, Presence St. Mary & St. Elizabeth’s, Rush University and Presence Resurrection. Northwestern Memorial Hospital received a ‘B.’ Several suburban hospitals also received an ‘A’ rating, including Elmhurst Hospital, Rush Oak Park, and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital.
The only ‘F’ rating received by a hospital in our state was Chicago’s Roseland Community Hospital, a local hospital that serves the Greater Roseland area. According to the hospital’s website, Greater Roseland is a predominantly African-American community with an increasing Latino population. The hospital scored particularly low on preventing blood infections in ICU patients, as well as on how medications are ordered by physicians. The hospital either doesn’t use a computerized medication ordering system, isn’t using a well-designed system, or isn’t consistently and accurately using a computerized system.
To view the score of Illinois hospitals according to Leapfrog Group’s Annual Hospital Safety Grade Report, please click here.
A Good Grade Not The Same as Perfect
At Levin & Perconti, our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys have helped families receive justice after a preventable medical error has cost themselves or a loved one their livelihood or life. While the scores given out by the Leapfrog Group indicate an overall picture of the safety of a hospital, it certainly does not tell of every patient safety event. One look through our medical malpractice verdicts and settlements will show you that some hospitals that have received a ‘As’ and ‘Bs’ have also been responsible for the injuries and deaths of some of our clients. While we encourage you to use safety ratings as a benchmark tool, we also advise our own friends, families, and clients to trust their gut. If something during or after a hospital visit seems questionable or not quite right, you have the right to dig deeper. You also have the right to an attorney.
Many families, scared of becoming even more financially underwater from mounting medical bills, are afraid to contact an attorney to help. Our services are completely free unless we recover money for you.
Please, do not hesitate to contact us via phone 312-332-2872 or by using our online consultation form. Time is of the essence when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in the state of Illinois, so please, don’t wait.