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How Safe Is Your Hospital? In Latest Grades, Mass. Gets Many A's

This article is more than 6 years old.
Boston Medical Center (Wikimedia Commons)
Boston Medical Center (Wikimedia Commons)

More hospitals in Massachusetts earned an "A" for safety than any other state except Maine, according to Leapfrog, a national nonprofit rating group founded by employers.

Leapfrog grades hospitals annually based on their rate of errors, accidents and injuries.

Seventy-six percent of hospitals in Massachusetts earned an "A" this year, but Leapfrog President Leah Binder says progress for all hospitals in almost every safety measure is still too slow.

"When we look at the absolute averages for hospitals, not just in Massachusetts, but nationally, for each of the 26 measures, we have not seen significant improvement," Binder said. Hospitals were graded on 28 safety measures this year after Leapfrog added two more.

No hospitals in Massachusetts received a "D" or an "F."

Across the border, New Hampshire has the fifth-lowest percentage of hospitals with a Leapfrog "A" in the country.

Here's the full report card for Massachusetts (click to enlarge) and below it, a response from the Massachusetts Hospital Association:

Leapfrog_hospital-composite
The Massachusetts Hospital Association praised the high grades most of the state's hospitals received, and added:

However, the Leapfrog Group report is just one of the many tools patients can use when making healthcare decisions. These reports can be valuable, but the sheer number of reports and variation among them can also be confusing to individuals and the public. To address these challenges, we suggest that interested organizations such as the Leapfrog Group collaborate on a common national framework for reporting on the quality and safety of healthcare rather than issuing sporadic, singular reports that differ in source data and methodology. The public would undoubtedly benefit from such a comprehensive and common reporting effort.

In the meantime, patients should talk with friends and family and consult with their primary care provider and other members of their healthcare team to sort through all the information that is available to them and help guide their healthcare decisions in the most appropriate way. When choosing a hospital, consumers are encouraged to speak with their physician about their individual care plan and to look up safety and quality information for their state. In Massachusetts, extensive information is available on the PatientCareLink website, which is co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA), the Organization of Nurse Leaders of Massachusetts and Rhode Island (ONL), and the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts (HCA).”

This program aired on October 23, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

Martha Bebinger Twitter Reporter
Martha Bebinger covers health care and other general assignments for WBUR.

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