Only about one-in-five Arizona hospitals received an “A” in a new report card on hospital safety by the Leapfrog Group. That left us with an overall national ranking of 39.
Researchers determined grades based on factors such as medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections. The report also estimated the number of avoidable deaths at hospitals in each grade level. It is important to note that this report does not include critical access, mental health, pediatric or Federal hospitals, so keep that in mind as you look over the grades.
According to Leapfrog data and analysis from John Hopkins Medicine’s Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, B, C, D and F hospitals have higher risk of avoidable death than their A counterparts. In fact, there is a 9 percent higher risk of avoidable death in B hospitals, 35 percent higher in C and 50 percent higher in D and F hospitals. Additionally, roughly 33,440 lives could be saved if all hospitals had the same performance as A hospitals.
Tucson.com just published a story titled, “Hospital failures, lapses kept under wraps.” The report claims “preventable medical harm…..is killing up to 440,000 Americans a year. At that level, medical harm would be the third-leading cause of death in the U.S.”
“In Arizona and most of the U.S., a lack of transparency and mandatory reporting laws put the public at a disadvantage when it comes to assessing preventable errors.”
Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) President & CEO Greg Vigdor is quoted in the story as saying:
“Methodologies should be transparent. Just as important, the information must be presented to patients and consumers in a way that educates rather than confounds or unduly alarms.”
AzHHA is committed to working with its hospital members to improve patient safety, reduce preventable harm and collect all necessary information regarding patient-safety events. The Arizona Daily Star quoted AzHHA’s VP of Care Improvement, Sandy Severson, in a recent story on the drop of hospital infections in Arizona, as saying, “We are trending in the right direction in the majority of the areas….But the work never stops. We still have a lot of work to do.”
Share your thoughts on Arizona’s grade, the report, and whether you think more transparency is needed. We believe these types of conversations are critical to Arizona’s long-term health success, and will help us take another step toward our goal of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!