Study Shows Low-Rated Hospitals are a Growing Risk to PatientsJune 11, 2019
According to a recent analysis of close to 2,600 hospitals across the country, some of the nation’s most poorly rated hospitals are putting patients at an increased risk of dying from medical errors, serious infections, and other safety-related issues because the hospitals have not taken the necessary steps to improve their safety record. This new research reveals that not all hospitals provide the same quality of care, and that patients should check the ratings of their local hospital before seeking treatment for themselves or a loved one.
The non-profit Leapfrog Group assigns letter grades to hospitals, which provide consumers with valuable information about how safe these health care facilities keep their patients from accidents, injuries, medical errors, and infections. Unfortunately, the most recent survey found that the lowest-rated hospitals have gotten worse when it comes to medical mistakes and deadly infections. According to the CEO of the Leapfrog Group, many of these deaths are completely preventable. More extreme cases, such as leaving a sponge or a surgical tool inside a patient, are gross errors that should never happen.
Leapfrog gave failing grades to 168 hospitals. Some of the poorly rated hospitals claimed that the ratings were unfair because they tend to treat sicker patients from less-affluent areas. Leapfrog stated that their measurements take socioeconomic factors into consideration when assigning a grade. Even hospitals in low-income areas can improve their safety record by putting patients first, said the CEO.
A Closer Look at the Grades
- Approximately one-third of the 2,600 hospitals graded received an A grade, including 41 hospitals that received A-grades since Leapfrog started grading hospitals in 2012.
- Roughly 25 percent of the hospitals received a B grade, 36 percent received a C grade, and six percent received a D grade.
- Oregon, Virginia, Maine, Massachusetts, and Utah had the highest percentages of A-rated hospitals.
- There were no A-rated hospitals in Alaska, Delaware, Washington, D.C., North Dakota, and Wyoming.
Many people are not aware that these ratings exist, including comedy director Steve Burrows, whose mother suffered irreversible brain damage after complications from a partial hip replacement surgery, and is now in long-term hospice. She was treated at Aurora West Allis Medical Center in Milwaukee, which is a C-rated hospital. Now that he is aware of the rating system, Burrows is committed to only using A-rated hospitals. Even when patients are treated in the most highly rated hospitals, it is in their best interest to be vigilant about their care.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Clients Injured Due to Medical Negligence
If your health was compromised while you were a patient at a hospital that received a low safety rating, contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will determine who is responsible for the negligent medical care and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.