Maryland has some of the best medical facilities in the nation. But not every hospital is up to par. In the biannual Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades Report released last week, Maryland hospitals ranked 30th across the country for health and safety.While ten facilities received an impressive A-rating for their high standards of patient care, the majority of hospitals received average scores, and five walked away with an unsatisfactory D.
Over 400,000 people die every year due to medical errors, many of which were preventable. Hospitals have an obligation to prioritize the health and safety of their patients and even simple lapses in safety protocols can have a disastrous impact.
When hospitals are lacking in safety measures, patients should be made aware. Marylanders can take the first step in preventing unnecessary medical errors by knowing which local hospitals to trust with their health and which to avoid in the case on an emergency.
The Leapfrog Group reviewed 40 hospitals in Maryland this spring, assigning each a grade based on their overall performance in preventing unnecessary medical errors and injuries. These were the hospitals reviewed and how they scored:
Some Marylanders may notice that not all hospitals in the state made the list. Facilities that are excluded from the review include specialty hospitals (children’s hospitals and surgical centers) and critical access hospitals. Other data that could be missing includes statistics on smaller centers, such as military or veteran’s hospitals. These facilities currently lack the resources to provide data needed for a comprehensive review and Leapfrog experts are working on how to evaluate these hospitals better in the future.
When looking specifically at the hospitals in Baltimore, these facilities scored fairly well. Four of the ten A-rated hospitals in the state are located in Baltimore, as well as one B-rated facility. Baltimore hospitals who did not score well (seven C-rated and two D-rated facilities) are struggling to provide quality care across multiple safety measures.
When looking at the two hospitals who received a D-rating, these facilities scored below average in areas such as:
These mistakes are rarely ever intentional. Most of the time, hospitals have protocols in place to address these safety measures that are neglected or ineffective. Other times, hospitals may not have known they needed specific safety protocols and have been struggling to reduce the risks of medical errors in these areas with other failed interventions.
Since 2000, The Leapfrog Group has been dedicated to saving lives by reducing the number of hospital errors through education and transparency. By holding hospitals accountable for their actions, this nonprofit organization has noticeably increased hospital performance and guided facilities towards better safety solutions for their patients.
The hospital grades are derived by analyzing 28 hospital safety measures that keep patients safe from preventable harm. The measures are split into five categories for patients to compare easily, including:
Each measure is scored and given a below average, average, or above average marking for patients to easily compare hospitals in their area.
We want our hospitals to provide the utmost quality care. Unfortunately, patients cannot solely rely on any medical facility to be perfect. Maryland patients must educate themselves on how to advocate for their health to reduce their risks of becoming a statistic.
In addition to checking out your local hospital’s Leapfrog Safety Grade, patients can take these preventive steps to help keep them safe at the hospital:
For more information on becoming your own health advocate, Leapfrog has a ton of patient resources to get you started.
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