Patient Safety Survey Shows While Illinois Improving Overall, Some Hospitals Struggle

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit group dedicated to hospital safety, has released their biannual Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report, showing an overall improvement in Illinois hospitals since the spring. According to Leapfrog, the survey measures hospital patient safety by the number of “errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.” Participation by hospitals is optional and this fall, 110 Illinois hospitals agreed to take part. According to the data collected, Leapfrog rated Illinois hospitals as #13 overall, an improvement from #15 this past spring.

In a time where the increasing problem of medical errors is finally being given the platform it deserves, the survey is more relevant now than ever. The Leapfrog Group, citing an often quoted 2016 Johns Hopkins study, notes that medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the United States. Patient safety and healthcare provider accountability is essential for all hospitals and healthcare organizations. Below is our analysis of the Fall 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report for participating Illinois hospitals.

Illinois & Metro Chicago Hospital Results
Several hospitals are likely happy to have the results of Leapfrog’s latest survey published, while others are hopefully disheartened by their patient safety score and looking to make improvements.

Among the Fall 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade results:

  • 110 Illinois hospitals included in Fall 2018 survey.
    • 43 Illinois hospitals received an ‘A’
    • 31 Illinois hospitals received a ‘B’
    • 31 Illinois hospitals received a ‘C’
    • 3 Illinois hospitals received a ‘D’ (2 in metro Chicago; 1 downstate)
    • 2 Illinois hospitals received an ‘F’ (both in metro Chicago)
  • 1 major Chicago hospital fell to a ‘B’ grade this fall after 3 years of receiving an ‘A’ score.
  • All 4 NorthShore University HealthSystems hospitals received an ‘A’ grade.

Rush University Medical Center Disputes Ratings Drop
For the first time in Leapfrog’s survey history, Rush University Medical Center in downtown Chicago received a ‘B’. Leapfrog’s CEO told Crain’s Chicago Business that Rush’s downgrade is related to at least two noteworthy medical errors: 1. A “foreign object retained after surgery” and  2. An “air embolism.” She also told Crain’s that the survey process provides numerous opportunities for hospitals to review data and fix mistakes before the results are finalized and made publicly available.

In an email to Crain’s, a Rush administrator said that the grade change was due to data entry errors.

The Rush University Medical System also includes Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora and Rush Oak Park Hospital. Those two facilities received an ‘A.’

Two Metro Chicago Hospitals Receive an ‘F’; Three Hospitals Receive a ‘D’
According to the Fall 2018 survey, the two worst hospitals in Illinois are located within the city of Chicago:

  • Hospitals Receiving an ‘F’
    • Mt. Sinai Hospital (Chicago): Dropped from a ‘C’ in Spring 2018 to an ‘F’ this fall, continuing its history of bouncing between low grades since 2015.
    • South Shore Hospital (Chicago): Also received an ‘F’, the first time it has been graded.
  • Hospitals Receiving a ‘D’
    • Holy Cross Hospital (Chicago): Received a ‘D’ after not participating in either 2017 survey, nor in the Fall 2016 survey.
      • In Spring 2016 and for both surveys in 2015, it received a ‘D’.
    • Loretto Hospital (Chicago): Received a ‘D’ after not participating in Spring.
      • In 2017, received ‘Cs’ on both surveys.
      • In 2016, received a ‘D’ in the Fall survey, a significant drop from the ‘A’ it received that Spring.
      • In 2015, received an ‘A’ in the Spring survey, a bump from the ‘B’ it received that Spring.
    • UnityPoint Health-Proctor (Peoria): Received a ‘D’ after receiving a ‘B’ this Spring.
      • In 2017, received ‘Bs on both surveys.
      • In 2016, received an ‘A’ in the fall after receiving a ‘C’ in the Spring.
      • In 2015, received a ‘C’ on both surveys.


Grades Help Show Commitment to Patient Safety
As often heard by many parents, grades don’t show everything. But in this case, they do give the public an idea of a hospital’s commitment to patient safety. These commitments include ongoing clinical education and training, initiatives and incentives that promote staff mindfulness in all patient-facing actions and interactions, and an overall institutional philosophy of “safety first.”

In spite of the best intentions and training, even the best hospitals can make mistakes. The Leapfrog Group’s survey includes hospitals from A – F that have been the focus of successful lawsuits filed by Levin & Perconti on behalf of our clients. We are Illinois’ medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and neglect, and personal injury law firm. Located in downtown Chicago, our medical malpractice attorneys are dedicated to getting answers to tough questions, challenging hospitals and medical providers to make things right, and to getting fair compensation for medical malpractice victims across the state.

With over half a billion dollars recovered for our clients, you have nothing to lose by making the call for a FREE consultation now. Please, if you suspect a medical error may have contributed to your own or a loved one’s injury or death, contact Levin & Perconti toll-free at 877-374-1417, in Chicago at (312) 332-2872, or by completing our online case evaluation form.


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