R.I. ranks third in Leapfrog hospital safety guide with 5 A-rated facilities

PROVIDENCE — Five of seven qualifying Rhode Island hospitals won A ratings from the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, earning the state third place in the assessment’s nation-wide spring rankings, a drop from first in the fall, but still a long way from from its 50th ranking in 2012.

Hawaii’s hospitals ranked first, and Idaho’s hospitals ranked second in the United States. Massachusetts hospitals ranked fourth, and Connecticut’s were ranked 46th. The rankings are based according to the percentage of the state’s hospitals that are ranked A.

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit aimed at driving quality, safety and transparency in the United States health system, launched the safety grade in 2012.

The system gauges how well hospitals protect patients from preventable medical errors, injuries and infections. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades assign A, B, C, D and F letter grades to hospitals nationwide. The grades are updated every six months, once in the fall and once in the spring.

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Several local hospitals were not rated in the study, either due to a lack of information on process measures, or because they are specialty hospitals, which the system does not rate. Roger Williams Medical Center and Fatima Hospital, for instance, did not have information on seven process measures used in Leapfrog’s rating system. Bradley Hospital in East Providence, Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, and Butler Hospital in Providence are specialty hospitals and were not rated.

State rankings were based on the ratio of A rated hospitals to the total number of hospitals reviewed by Leapfrog in a state.

The A-grade Rhode Island hospitals included the now-shuttered Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, in Pawtucket, which had improved since the fall assessment of a B grade.

Also receiving A grades were The Miriam Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, Newport Hospital, and South County Hospital in Wakefield.

Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket was rated B, losing a rating grade since Leapfrog’s fall assessment. Kent County Memorial Hospital in Warwick, and Westerly Hospital, were rated C.

In Bristol County, MA, Leapfrog rated St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford and Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River with A grades. Morton Hospital in Taunton was rated B.

Of the approximately 2,500 hospitals graded, 30 percent earned an “A,” 28 percent earned a “B,” 35 percent a “C,” six percent a “D” and one percent an “F”, according to Leapfrog.

Developed under the guidance of a Blue Ribbon National Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public.

Rob Borkowski is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Borkowski@PBN.com.