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Four Ohio hospitals received a “D” grade in Leapfrog’s 2019 Hospital Safety Grades.

Holzer Gallipolis, St. Luke’s Hospital in Maumee, University of Cincinnati Medical Center and the University of Toledo Medical Center were the only “Ds.” No Ohio hospital received an “F” grade.

Leapfrog is a nonprofit health care watchdog group that began issuing its hospital grades in the spring and fall of every year seven years ago.

“We update our grades every six months because we like to be able to use the most recent information that’s available about a hospital,” said Leah Binder, Leapfrog’s president and CEO. “A lot of hospitals that have not scored well have actually used it as an opportunity to acknowledge to their community that they have some shortcomings and actually go about making safety improvements.

Ohio dropped to 14th after ranking 8th in the spring. Thirty-nine of the state’s hospitals received an “A” ranking in the fall while 42 percent received an “A” ranking in the spring.

Maine, Utah, Virginia, Oregon and North Carolina were the states with the state’s safest hospitals, according to the report with New York, West Virginia, Wyoming, Alaska and North Dakota rounding out the bottom five.

The report comes 20 years after the Institute of Medicine released its report, “To Err is Human,” which revealed more than 100,000 people died each year due to medical errors that are preventable.

"In stark contrast to 20 years ago, we're now able to pinpoint where the problems are, and that allows us to grade hospitals," Binder said.

Since that time there have been some improvements. A report this year from the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality showed that deaths from medical errors had declined by an estimated 46,000 from 2016.

“The most important thing to recognize is that there are real differences in safety performance between hospitals,” Binder said. “No hospital is perfectly safe and even in the hospitals that earn an ‘A’ and earned an ‘A’ many times in a row, things still happen. But generally, we know that ‘A’ hospitals are safer than ‘B,’C,’ ‘D,’ and so on.”

Leapfrog looks at the how what hospitals are doing to prevent errors as well as how often errors occur, Binder said. Some of the critical incidents they monitor include infections, blood clots and collapsed lungs.

The report is reviewed by a National Expert Panel with guidance from the Armstrong Institute, according to Leapfrog.