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Hospital Safety Print E-mail
Written by Bernd Wollschlaeger, MD, FAAFP, FASAM   
Friday, 22 June 2012 07:57

A new report card from healthcare watchdog the Leapfrog Group ranks hospitals for patient safety - A through F. A blue ribbon panel of the nation's top patient safety experts provided guidance to the Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits, to develop the Hospital Safety Score. The Hospital Safety Score is calculated using publicly available data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections.

For the first time, the Hospital Safety Score will highlight the country's best hospitals and warn against the worst to save lives and bring attention to the nation's silent safety epidemic. According to recent studies, one in four Medicare patients will leave a hospital with a potentially fatal issue they didn't have prior to hospitalization. On average, one medication error per day occurs for each hospitalized patient, and more than 180,000 Americans die every year from hospital accidents, errors, and infections.

The Hospital Safety Score website allows visitors to search hospital scores for free, and also provides information on how the public can protect themselves and loved ones during a hospital stay. In South Florida 25 of 49 hospitals scored an "A." The news for South Florida hospitals wasn't all good, though. Eight rated a mediocre "C," including Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami beach, Delray Medical Center, Plantation General Hospital and Wellington Regional Medical Center.

Worse, six Miami-Dade County hospitals, including Jackson Memorial and the University of Miami Hospital, would have scored a "D" or an "F" but got a "score pending" reprieve in this go-round. They'll have a chance to improve their grades before the next ranking comes out in the fall, according to a public relations executive working with Leapfrog. Ashish Jha, MD, of Harvard, a member of the blue ribbon expert panel was quoted in the press release stating that "Even hospitals with excellent programs for surgical and medical care, state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, and dedicated physicians may still need this score as a reminder that patient safety should be a top priority."

Dr. Wollschlaeger is a frequent contributor to FHIweekly and Specialty Focus. You can read more of his articles by visiting

Last Updated on Monday, 25 June 2012 07:13

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