How Safe Are the Hospitals You’re Going To?

“Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States” - The Leapfrog Group

The Leapfrog Group, the nation’s leading assessor of hospital safety, released their fall 2018 findings of the nation’s hospitals. The study assessed more than 2,600 general acute care hospitals across the country and gave them scores according to the findings. In essence, the study asked how well hospitals are doing in keeping their patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors.

Who Conducted the Study?

The Leapfrog Group is a Washington-based watchdog non-profit dedicated to “empowering patients and purchasers to choose the right hospital.” Every year, they update their Hospital Safety Grade twice to reflect their findings. They compile data on the quality of health care in hospitals across the nation and give them a composite grade based on 28 measures. Scores are given as A, B, C, D and F letter grades.

Why Do They Conduct This Study?

With this study, they hope to address the 500+ deaths caused by preventable medical errors and infections in hospitals every day. Some hospitals make patient safety their top priority. They put checks in place to prevent errors and do their best to reduce infection rates. Some don’t. You deserve to know which hospitals have made patient safety their top priority.

Leapfrog aims to inform consumers so they can choose their health care providers accordingly. They also aim to keep hospitals and other health care providers accountable to the public.  

How Did North Carolina Do?

The Hospital Safety Grade ranked hospitals in the state as among the best in patient safety. You can see a map here. Nearly 75% of hospitals in North Carolina scored an A or a B, which is higher than the national average. Broken down:

  • 43% were rated as “A” hospitals
  • 28% were “B” hospitals
  • 29% were “C” hospitals
  • No one made a “D” or an “F”
  • All Triangle hospitals but one received an “A”

Always remember that you can ask your doctor what your hospital is doing to keep patients safe from medical errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. You have a choice in where you receive your care.

Leapfrog says that the most important measures you should focus on are handwashing (does the staff have a handwashing policy?), infection in the blood (look at your hospital’s numbers), and patient falls (is the hospital doing anything to prevent falls from happening?).  

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

The grades for this study are not always current. Because the study is based on hospital reports made publicly available, the scorecard tends to use slightly outdated information. Also, each hospital’s score is relative to other hospitals. So, a dip in their grade from the previous assessment doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve gotten worse. It could just mean another hospital made improvements that worked.

New to the fall 2018 study is Leapfrog’s examination of whether the hospital used the Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA). The BCMA is designed to reduce the risk of health care professionals accidentally giving patients the wrong medication.

The North Carolina Coalition for Fiscal Health

We at the NC Coalition for Fiscal Health are always vigilant of how healthcare costs affect North Carolinians. Have the sky-high costs of healthcare in our state impacted you and/or your family’s lives? Do you want to do something about it? Join the Coalition now to receive updates about new legislation and policies that will affect YOUR healthcare. Sign up now!

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  • Alysa Jae
  • Alysa Jae
    commented 2018-12-26 20:40:54 -0500
    The neurologist that order the MRI refused to give me a copy of my medical record, refused to release the MRI order to the PROVIDER OF THEIR CHOICE for three days, refused to give me the MRI order in a written form so I could chose my own provider, refused to prescribe the medication to be able to lay still for a viable MRI (told me I would have to cancel the MRI schedule, come back at my next scheduled visit in a MONTH and pay another $255 to get that prescription) I HAD TO USE GOOGLE TO LEARN WHAT I COULD TAKE TO LAY STILL AND NOT INTERFERE WITH THE TEST!!! AND THEN THE BITCH, PAM, at Coastal Diagnostic Imagining in Jacksonville, NC threaten to call the police on me when I left saying I was intoxicated… I was not intoxicated and I was MUCH SAFER WITH THE PAIN REDUCED THAN I WAS A WEEK EARLIER IN THAT OFFICE ROLLING IN THE FLOOR FROM TEMPORAL ARTERY INFLAMMATION!!! WHY ARE THEY BEHAVING THIS WAY??? BECAUSE I AM UNINSURED AND FINANCIALLY IN GREAT DESTRESS FROM BEING BANKRUPT THREE TIMES FROM MEDICAL BILLS!!! THE ER DOCTOR AT ONSLOW MEMORIAL HOSPITAL REFUSED ME APPROPRIATE DIAGNOSTICS TESTING (THE MRI) ON 9/25/2018, AND THEY WERE ALL COVERING HIS ASS!!! They are beyond inhumane and sadistic and profit mongering and more than willing to commit fraud and medical malpractice to cover the asses of their fellow medical professional friends in this EXCEPTIONALLY NON-FREE-MARKET , UN-AMERICAN, UN-CAPITALISTIC FRAUD CLOSED NETWORK!! …. THE MEDICAL SYSTEM THAT SHARES RECORDS ONLY TO HARM A PATIENT IS FRAUD!!! THOSE RECORDS ARE MINE, AND THEY SHOULD HAVE NO ACCESS WITHOUT MY PERMISSION, BUT THAT IS NOT HOW IT WORKS!! THEY SEEM TO THINK MY MEDICAL RECORDS BELONG TO THEM AND THEY CAN LIE AND FILL MY MEDICAL RECORD WITH FALSE ACCOUNTS AND FAKE RECORDS OF PHYSICAL ASSESSMENT THEY DID NOT DO… THEY HAVE LITERALLY FALSEFIED MY MEDICAL RECORD!!!!
  • Alysa Jae
    commented 2018-12-26 20:23:13 -0500
    Duke University Hospital refused me service as Amy Hurwitz used VOODOO MEDICINE AND GUESSED and then screamed in my face “YOU DO NOT HAVE GCA” … then Coastal Diagnostics Imaging reading MD COVERED THE ASS OF THAT ER DOCTOR!!! SHE MISREAD MY MRI a week or so later… DID NOT NOTE THE INFLAMMATION IN THE EXTRACRANIAL TEMPORAL ARTERIES, or the cerebral venous thrombosis, the numerous infarctions, the inflammation and wall thickening in the intradural region of the brain at the optic chiasma and the carotid arteries. My carotid arteries are slapping shut so hard that my neck is bruised and it is throwing me to the floor. MY EYE BALLS ARE BRUISED!! BUT THAT SADISTIC SO CALLED DOCTOR CALLED ME A LIAR AND A HYSTERICAL WOMAN AND REFUSED ME MEDICAL CARE IN A PUBLIC HOSPITAL!!! I have Primary Systemic Vasculitis of an unknown orgin, because they refuse to do the diagnostics needed to determine if the cause is a blood disorder or an autoimmune disease… I have been bankrupt three times and left homeless three times in my short 48 years… I AM UNINSURED AND UNABLE TO PAY BECAUSE OVER $1 MILLION HAS BEEN PAID IN MY NAME AND NO DIAGNOSTIC TESTING FOR BLOOD DISORDERS OR AUTOIMMUNITY HAS EVER BEEN APPLIED!!! BUT MY GENETIC MAKE-UP IS FULL OF HOMOZYGOUS SLE GENES AND I AM A JAK2 V617F CARRIER OF AT LEAST FIVE SNPS (AND EVEN MORE JAK2 BAD SNPS) … How will I even get a diagnosis when the NC SELF PAY SYSTEM REQUIRES A PRIMARY CARE THAT SELECTS MY SPECIALIST FOR ME AND REFUSES TO ALLOW ME TO CHOOSE MY OWN PROVIDERS??? THEN THAT SPECIALIST REFUSES TO ALLOW ME TO SELECT MY OWN PROVIDER FOR DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING, AND THEN THE WHOLE LITTLE CLOSED NETWORK WORKS TO COVER EACH OTHERS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ASSES RATHER THAN WORK TO DIAGNOSE!!!
  • Alysa Jae
    commented 2018-12-26 20:05:00 -0500
    NC hospitals are committing fraud and medical malpractice DAILY!! They are not using science to diagnose! They are doing a CBC, USING VOODDO MEDICINE AS THEY GUESS AT DIAGNOSTICS instead of using the scientific diagnostic tools available. IF YOU ARE UNINSURED IN NC, THE ER IS NOTHING BUT THE MOST EXPENSIVE DRUG DEALERS IN THE WORLD!!! They commit fraud and medical malpractice, because FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE IS MEDICAL MALPRACTICE, and it is impossible to diagnose without the use of diagnostic tools!! THJEY ARE DISABLING AND KILLING ME!!!


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