May 16, 2019
When someone you love is in need of urgent medical care, one of the last things you think about is the quality of the hospital you're headed to. Rather, you’re just trying to get there as quickly as possible.
But knowing the quality, safety and health outcomes of your local hospital is relevant information to remember when you need it.
Fortunately, there’s a way to do that— Leapfrog, a nonprofit, publishes bi-annual reports analyzing the safety of more than 2,600 hospitals in the United States, giving each one a grade.
Leapfrog’s panel of experts grades each hospital on 28 measures of publicly available hospital information, including things like responsiveness to staff, environmental factors (do they use computer systems?) and outcomes (were surgical implements left in a patient's body?).
According to the nonprofit:
The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses national performance measures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Leapfrog Hospital Survey and other supplemental data sources.
Taken together, those performance measures produce a single letter grade representing a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors. The Safety Grade includes 28 measures, all currently in use by national measurement and reporting programs. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade methodology has been peer reviewed and published in the Journal of Patient Safety.
Each hospital is given a grade using the same grading scale we all grew up with — “A” through “F”. Leapfrog also ranks each state by the percent of “A” hospitals each one has. Pennsylvania ranks 18th on the list, with 34.38 percent of the state’s hospitals receiving an “A” — down from the fall 2018 ranking at 14th.
New Jersey, on the other hand, ranked sixth with 45.59 percent of the state’s hospital earning an “A.”
As for Philadelphia-area hospitals, specifically, the grades look pretty good. The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital, Jeanes Hospital, Abington Memorial Hospital, Jefferson Stratford Hospital and a few others all received “A” grades. Hahnemann University Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Pennsylvania Hospital received “B” grades and Temple University Hospital received a “C.”
View the full list of local hospitals, and their scores, here. It’s worth noting that you may notice some hospitals missing from the list, which could possibly be due to a lack of information available.
Leapfrog's scoring methodology is outlined here.