The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit representing the nation’s largest and most influential employers and purchasers of health care, announced on Wednesday the spring 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades. The independent grading system assigns “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” and “F” letter grades to general acute-care hospitals in the U.S. based on their ability to protect patients from avoidable errors, injuries, accidents and infections.
In New Jersey, the breakdown for the 68 graded hospitals were:
- 31-A hospitals – 45.6 percent; 7 fewer than last round;
- 27-B hospitals – 39.7 percent; 11 more than last round;
- 7-C hospitals – 10.3 percent; 4 fewer than last round;
- 3-D hospitals – 4.41 percent; 2 more than last round; and
- 0-F hospitals – 0 percent; 1 fewer F than last round.
Eight hospitals went up in their grade — one, St. Luke’s Warren Campus, went up by two grades, from C to A.
In New Jersey, 59 of the 68 hospitals graded received an A or B grade, which is 4.7 percent higher than last round. New Jersey has the highest rate of Leapfrog Hospital Survey participation for regions with over 50 targeted hospitals at 97.2 percent participation.
The three D hospitals were East Orange General Hospital, HMH Mountainside Medical Center and University Hospital.
“We’re pleased with the high rate of Leapfrog survey participation and the number of New Jersey hospitals committed to safety and transparency,” said Linda Schwimmer, president and chief executive officer of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, the regional leader for Leapfrog, in a statement. “Yet we still have concerns about some poorly rated hospitals and we hope those low safety grades galvanize their hospital leaders to make a true and sustained commitment to improving quality and safety.”
Hospitals that received an “A” are:
Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell
CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center
Chilton Medical Center
Clara Maass Medical Center
Community Medical Center in Toms River
Inspira Medical Center Elmer
Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital
Jefferson Stratford Hospital
Jersey City Medical Center
Jersey Shore University Medical Center
Monmouth Medical Center
Morristown Medical Center
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
Newton Medical Center
Ocean Medical Center
Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center
Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center
Raritan Bay Medical Center of Perth Amboy
Riverview Medical Center
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset
Saint Barnabas Medical Center
Saint Clare’s Hospital of Denville
Saint Clare’s Hospital of Dover
Saint Michael’s Medical Center
Saint Peter’s University Hospital
Shore Medical Center
Southern Ocean Medical Center
St. Luke’s Warren Campus
The Valley Hospital
Alongside its semiannual Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine updated its original 2016 analysis of the estimated number of avoidable deaths in hospitals with each letter grade (“A” vs. “B” vs “C” vs “D, F”) and how many lives could be saved if all hospitals in the U.S. that receive a Hospital Safety Grade had the safety record of “A” hospitals.
In the analysis, researchers assessed more than 2,600 hospitals receiving Hospital Safety Grades and found that when compared to “A” hospitals patients at “D” and “F” hospitals face almost double (92 percent greater) the risk of death. If every hospital had the performance of an “A” hospital, an estimated 50,000 lives saved could be saved.
Overall, the researchers concluded that an estimated 160,000 lives are lost annually due to avoidable medical errors that are accounted for in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. Schwimmer noted that the updated research report, which was prepared at Leapfrog’s request, estimates that patients at “D” and “F” hospitals face almost double risk of death than patients at “A” hospitals. “These safety grades translate into real lives,” she said.
“Avoidable medical errors and infections in hospitals continue to be one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade provides New Jersey with useful, up-to-date information to further ensure safety and accountability when choosing a hospital.”
Developed under the guidance of a National Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign the grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.
For more information about the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, as well as individual grades and state rankings, please visit hospitalsafetygrade.org.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include Community Medical Center in Toms River to the list of A-graded hospitals from New Jersey.