Hospital Safety Grades: Here’s How Charlotte Hospitals Fared
The nonprofit group Leapfrog released its bi-annual round of hospital safety grades. (Shutterstock)
CHARLOTTE, NC — When it comes to safety, 27 North Carolina hospitals received an A grade, according to new Spring 2019 ratings released by the Leapfrog Group on Wednesday. Of those facilities, five are in the Charlotte metro region. The nonprofit group found that of the more than 2,600 hospitals graded in the country, 32 percent earned an A grade, findings that were unchanged from the group’s last round of rankings released in Fall 2018.
The Charlotte metro and Lake Norman region are also home to six hospitals with "B" ratings and six facilities with "C" ratings, according to the rankings.
The Leapfrog Group explains that its rating system is focused entirely on errors, accidents, injuries and infections. The hospital safety grades are released by the nonprofit group twice a year, in the spring and in the fall.
Oregon, Virginia, Maine, Massachusetts and Virginia had the highest percentage of hospitals that received an A grade. Four states — Wyoming, Arkansas, Delaware, North Dakota — and the District of Columbia did not have a single hospital that received an A grade.
Here are Leapfrog’s grades for the greater Charlotte metro and Lake Norman region hospitals. You can find the grades for all North Carolina hospitals here. (Click on the name for more information about each individual listing.)
For this round of rankings, the Leapfrog Group’s research found that patients at hospitals that receive "D" or "F" grades face a 92 percent greater risk of avoidable death compared to "A" hospitals. At "C" and "B" hospitals, patients on average face an 88 percent and a 35 percent greater risk respectively.
The group estimates that if the risk at all hospitals was equivalent to what it is at "A" hospitals, 50,000 lives would have been saved. Overall, the researchers estimate that 160,000 lives are lost every year due to avoidable medical errors. That figure is down from 2016, when the Leapfrog Group estimated there were 205,000 avoidable deaths.
"The good news is that tens of thousands of lives have been saved because of progress on patient safety. The bad news is that there’s still a lot of needless death and harm in American hospitals," Leah Binder, president and CEO of the Leapfrog Group, said in a press release. "Hospitals don’t all have the same track record, so it really matters which hospital people choose, which is the purpose of our Hospital Safety Grade."
Leapfrog assigns A,B,C,D and F letter grades to general acute-care hospitals in the United States. Leapfrog explains that the safety grade includes 28 measures that are taken together to "produce a single letter grade representing a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors." The group uses performance measures from a variety of sources, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.