In June of this year, a nonprofit organization called The Leapfrog Group released its first set of grades for the nation’s hospitals. The grades were intended to help consumers choose health care facilities that did the best job of avoiding preventable medical errors, reducing infections, and cutting down on other injuries suffered by patients during hospitalization. We discussed the results of the first round of grades in our blog of June 8. The grades gave consumers an easy way to judge hospitals based on the safety of the health care they provided. The group recently released its second round of letter grades, based on more recent information about the quality of care provided by each facility.
The news for Florida hospitals was mostly positive. Of the 156 hospitals in Florida that received grades, 39 percent received an A grade and none received an F. That represents a 7 percent improvement from the grades received in June and placed Florida 10 among the states in terms of total performance. The state still ranks far behind Massachusetts where 83 percent of hospitals received an A grade.
The vice president for performance improvement and safety at Florida Hospital indicated that its 7 facilities all take the Leapfrog standards seriously and are working to improve their performance. All 7 of its Central Florida facilities received a B grade in the latest rankings, while the Daytona Beach location earned an A. While the quality of a hospital is measured by more than simply avoiding errors, safety is an important consideration for many in choosing a facility.
The Leapfrog Group’s president and CEO, Leah Binder, indicated that the group is interested in combating the substantial number of preventable hospital errors that result in death. According to her statement, if such errors were classified as a disease, it would be the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. By assigning hospitals grades, Leapfrog Group encourages consumers to make smarter choices and gives hospitals an incentive to improve their safety practices.
Source: Hispanic Business, “Leapfrog Group Grades Hospital Safety,” by Marni Jameson, 28 November 2012