A non-profit group of employers and private healthcare experts in the United States has issued a report in which it grades safety in hospitals in the U.S. based on the safety of patients. About 400 patients in U.S. hospitals die as a result of hospital errors every day. Those hospital errors include medical mistakes (medical negligence), medication errors, hospital-acquired infections, and patient injuries.
The results of recent studies show that about 25% of Medicare patients who were hospitalized were discharged with a potentially fatal medical condition that they did not have when they went to the hospital. Another study determined that there is one medication error per day for each hospitalized patient. Statistics show that over 180,000 patients die in the United States each year from errors, accidents, and infections that occur in hospitals.
The group’s report entitled Hospital Safety Score analyzed data from 2,652 hospitals in the United States, assigning grades ranging from “A” given to the safest hospitals to “F” assigned to the least safe hospitals. Of the 2,652 hospitals that were graded, 729 received an “A”, 679 received a “B”, and 1,243 received a grade of “C” or less. Those hospitals that received an “A” included academic medical centers, rural hospitals, centers of excellence, community hospitals, public hospitals, non-profit hospitals, for-profit hospitals, as well as hospitals in poor areas of the country — no single class of hospitals dominated the safest hospitals that received a grade of “A”.
Some hospitals with the best reputations did not receive an “A” grade, with some not even receiving a grade of “C”.
The hospitals with the best average scores were located in Massachusetts.
The hospitals with the lowest average scores were located in Washington, D.C.
The group took nine months to develop its process for grading hospitals. Patient safety experts throughout the United States were involved in the process. The group intends for its report to be a useful tool for patients to easily and readily access important safety information regarding the hospitals in their local areas or where they intend to seek medical care.
While the group believes that its report is a useful tool for patients to help them decide where to seek medical treatment, others, such as the American Hospital Association, contend that some of the measures used by the group to grade hospitals were “flawed” and do not accurately reflect the safety efforts undertaken by hospitals.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a hospital mistake, hospital error, or hospital malpractice, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney who may be able to investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you.
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