In Arizona, 10 hospitals received an "A" grade and no hospitals got an "F." Most hospitals ranked somewhere in the middle.
ARIZONA — Many Arizona got top marks, but some didn't do quite as well in the Spring 2022 Hospital Safety Grades report released Tuesday by The Leapfrog Group, an independent nonprofit health care watchdog group.
The new grades show quality of care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Leapfrog Group said its and other groups' research showed the pandemic reversed years of progress in patient safety, and that is evidenced by the falling grades of some Arizona hospitals, compared to years past.
The pandemic has had a negative effect on "health care delivery at every level and setting, from staffing shortages to increased infections to the very care patients receive," according to the Patient Experience During the Pandemic: Adult Inpatient Care report, also released Tuesday by The Leapfrog Group.
"The health care workforce has faced unprecedented levels of pressure during the pandemic, and as a result, patients' experience with their care appears to have suffered," Leapfrog Group president and CEO Leah Binder said in a news release. "We commend the workforce for their heroic efforts these past few years and now strongly urge hospital leadership to recommit to improved care — from communication to responsiveness — and get back on track with patient safety outcomes."
In Arizona, 10 hospitals received an "A" grade, 21 hospitals received a "B" grade, 11 hospitals received a "C" grade and 8 hospitals received a "D" grade. No Arizona hospitals received an "F" grade.
Here are the rankings, according to Leapfrog:
The letter grades assigned to nearly 3,000 U.S general hospitals were based on more than 30 measures of patient safety. Leapfrog says its hospital rating system is the only one in the country focusing solely on a hospital's ability to protect patients from preventable errors, accidents, injuries and infections.
Included in the 30 are five that research has shown to directly affect patient outcomes, but can be improved with greater communication between caregivers and patients — the number of central line-associated bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, infections from colon surgery, MRSA (Staphylococcus) blood laboratory-identified events, and facility-wide inpatient diarrhea events.
When there's communication about medications, for example, that can lead to fewer hospitalizations for conditions such as sepsis and blood clots, fewer complications, and decreases in the incidence of respiratory failure, Leapfrog said.
Among the findings:
To determine each hospital's grade, a panel of medical experts selected 30 evidence-based measures of patient safety such as postoperative sepsis, blood leakage and kidney injury. They then determined the weight of each measure based on evidence, opportunity for improvement and patient impact.
Data on each measure was collected through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Information from the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, available to all hospitals to complete, also affects grades.
Currently, Leapfrog does not assign grades to military or Veterans Administration hospitals, critical access hospitals, specialty hospitals, children's hospitals or outpatient surgery centers.
The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade methodology has been peer-reviewed and published in the Journal of Patient Safety.
The full methodology for the 2022 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is available online.
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