When we’re admitted to the hospital for sickness or injury, we assume the system works to keep us safe. As patients, we do not expect to develop infections or experience a medical error during a hospital stay, yet the Institute for Healthcare Improvement reports as many as 440,000 annual deaths from preventable hospital mistakes. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is a public service committed to making patient safety the number one priority for hospitals. How can this service help you choose the best place in your area for medical care?

About the Leapfrog Hospital Survey

According to their website, The Leapfrog Group is “a nonprofit organization committed to quality, safety, and transparency in the U.S. health system”. As part of their mission, The Leapfrog Group holds hospitals accountable for their performance through an annual survey. Nearly 2,000 hospitals voluntarily participate in the survey which covers a wide range of areas, including:

  • Inpatient care management
  • Medication safety
  • Infections
  • High-risk surgery
  • Cancer surgery
  • Maternity care
  • Pediatric care

Each area of care is evaluated by a panel of patient safety experts, who use publicly available hospital safety data to rate overall performance. This data includes national performance measures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey and Health Information Technology Supplement.

Hospitals are rated on 28 measures that fall under one of two categories: Process/Structural Measures and Outcome Measures. Process Measures represent how often patients are given the recommended treatment for their condition, while Structural Measures represent the environment where care is received.

Preventing Hospital Errors

Oftentimes, hospital errors occur for one of two reasons: The staff does not work well together or leadership does not make patient safety a priority. As a result, patients can experience complications – including death. The Leapfrog Group cites air embolism as one common example. This occurs when blood flow through the body is blocked by an air or gas bubble. Although this complication is preventable, a lack of structure and poor communication among hospital staff makes such dangers more frequent.

Annually, 1 in every 25 patients develop an infection during a hospital stay. What can you do to help prevent infection and other hospital mistakes?

  • If you have any concerns about care, talk to a professional (i.e. your nurse).
  • When an incident occurs, report it to the hospital right away.
  • Be assertive and make sure your concerns are addressed.
  • Do not give up on communication until the issue has been resolved.

Choosing the best hospital for your own or a loved one’s care is an important decision. Whether you want to know about a hospital’s safety protocols, maternity care processes or how often blood infections occur, The Leapfrog Group compiles all that data and more. To compare hospitals in your area, visit their website.
At Trantolo & Trantolo, we work with clients every day who have experienced neglect, a prescription drug error or medical malpractice while in the hospital. If you have been hurt, our experienced attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to pursue your claim.