The Leapfrog Group, a national hospital watchdog organization, has just released its Hospital Safety Score ratings, and Maine is the winner.
According to the ratings, 80% of Maine hospitals scored an “A.” Grades are based on 26 different measures of patient safety, ranging from bed sores and falls to treatment protocols. One of the ways in which Maine strives to improve patient safety is by the yearly reporting of serious, preventable medical errors, including wrong site surgery and administration of the wrong medicine. In 2012, Maine reported 146 of these types of errors, down from 163 in 2011. Of the 146 errors, 14 included surgical objects being left in patients after surgery, and two were wrong-site surgeries.
The other states scoring in the top five for patient safety after Maine were Massachusetts, Minnesota, Virginia, and Illinois. The ratings give letter grades to each hospital. Of the 2,514 general hospitals issued a Hospital Safety Score, 780 earned an “A,” 638 earned a “B,” 932 earned a “C,” 148 earned a “D” and 16 earned an “F.”
The states that fared the worst in the ratings were Nevada, Kansas, Oregon, West Virginia, and New Mexico (which had the lowest percentage of hospitals earning a “A” (6.7%). According to the Leapfrog Group, the biggest change in safety measure was the Computerized Physician Order Entry, which reduces errors due to handwriting and transcription and provides error checking for incorrect doses or tests.