14 Washington State Hospitals receive top safety marks from Leapfrog Group
SEATTLE – The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit representing hundreds of the nation’s most influential employers and purchasers of health care, driven in Washington State by the Washington Health Alliance, announced the new spring 2023 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades. Hospitals earn an “A”,“B”, “C”, “D”, or “F” Hospital Safety Grade reflecting how well they protect patients from medical errors, accidents, injuries, and infections. These preventable errors kill an estimated 250,000 Americans every year and harm millions more.
For the first time data in Hospital Safety Grades incorporate hospital performance during the height of the pandemic, 2020-2022, and it suggests the average risk of three of the most harmful healthcare-associated infections (HAIs)—including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI)— spiked to a 5-year high in hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“On behalf of the Washington Health Alliance, the Leapfrog Regional Lead organization for Washington State, I encourage all hospitals to take a serious look at these Spring grades,” said Dr. Sharon Eloranta, the Alliance’s medical director. “Completing the recently released annual Leapfrog survey can help hospitals improve their Fall grades, and more important, can identify areas where patient safety can be improved – something we all expect when we seek hospital care.”
In Washington State, 46 hospitals were graded, and 14 earned an “A,” eight earned a “B,” 22 earned a “C,” and two earned a “D.” None of the hospitals assessed during this period received a failing grade.
Notably, Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle has earned an “A” in Washington every year for the past decade since 2012.
Nationwide, Washington ranked 19th overall for the percentage of eligible hospitals receiving an “A,” which is down from 12th place last fall.
While Washington is home to more than 100 hospitals, only 46 are eligible for grading by Leapfrog. A majority of the remaining hospitals are considered critical access facilities – small, often rural and remote – and are not graded for patient safety.
“In light of the alarming findings on the increase in healthcare-associated infections, we need the full commitment of hospital leadership to ensure patient safety is a priority. The COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly strained hospitals and their resources, and we now have the data to show the damage it caused,” said Leah Binder, CEO and president of The Leapfrog Group. “Despite the pandemic, several hospitals in this community remained steadfast in their commitment to patient safety, and we congratulate those who achieved high grades.”
The Leapfrog Group has a more than 10-year history of assigning letter grades to general hospitals throughout the U.S., based on a hospital’s ability to prevent medical errors and harm to patients. Updated twice each year, in the spring and the fall, the grading system is peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. Hospital Safety Grade results are based on more than 30 national performance measures and are updated each fall and spring.
For more information about the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, as well as individual hospital grades and state rankings, please visit HospitalSafetyGrade.org and follow The Leapfrog Group on Twitter, Facebook, and via its newsletter.