Illinois hospitals scored relatively well in a new patient safety report.
The grades were released by a nonprofit watchdog organization, The Leapfrog Group, which seeks to educate the public about the safety and quality of health care facilities. More than 100 general, acute care hospitals in the state made the list.
“Out of those 110 hospitals, there are no ‘Fs' in Illinois and there are five ‘D’ hospitals in the state,” said Erica Mobley, director of operations for The Leapfrog Group. “Overall, we’re seeing a lot of good performance. There are 42 hospitals in the state that earned an ‘A.’ ”
The Leapfrog Group issues grades twice each year. Illinois ranked 14th among all states, according to the percentage of ‘A’ hospitals. Mobley said those facilities share some common traits.
“From the top leadership all the way down, all levels of staff have made patient safety a priority,” Mobley said. “It’s something they think about every single day and it influences everything they do, regardless of their role at the hospital. These are the hospitals we see earn an ‘A’ and earn an ‘A’ repeatedly.”
On the other end of the spectrum, the five Illinois hospitals that received ‘D’ grades all are located in the Chicago area.
“Overall, we see that hospitals that are scoring very poorly, receiving a ‘D’ or an ‘F,’ are not falling short in any one or two areas, but they really overall have demonstrated significant shortcomings across all of the areas we look at in the safety grades,” Mobley said. “That can be indicative of lacking a culture of safety in a hospital.”
The study considers 28 different factors when assigning grades, including various policies and procedures as well as patient outcomes.
“We see hospitals of all shapes and sizes able to perform well on safety and be a safe place to receive care,” Mobley said. “A lot of what we’re looking at in the safety grade is errors that should never happen in any hospital.”
Mobley said she encourages patients to check the ratings before deciding on a facility, especially those living in major metropolitan areas with multiple choices for care.
“Medical errors are estimated to be the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., behind only heart disease and cancer,” Mobley said. “Take a look at the safety grades in your community. Maybe the hospital around the corner has a ‘C,’ but a hospital a mile away has an ‘A.’ ”
To see ratings for hospitals in Illinois, visit hospitalsafetygrade.org.