Q: How did local hospitals do in this spring's Leapfrog Hospital Safety grades?
A: They all got high marks. Carle Foundation Hospital and OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center got the top "A" grade and OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center got a "B" grade.
The not-for-profit Leapfrog Group describes itself as an independent advocate for transparency, safety and quality in health care. It collects data and assigns grades to more than 2,600 hospitals based on 28 nationally-used safety performance measures such as preventing infections, staffing and medical errors.
Carle scored above average on all six error prevention measures — among them hand washing, safe medication administration, staff working together to prevent errors and doctors ordering medications through a computer — and on all six staffing measures such as having enough qualified nurses and specialty-trained doctors caring for patients in intensive care.
Carle also scored above average on preventing three kinds of infections and below average on preventing two others and above average on three out of four categories for preventing safety problems. It had mixed results on seven measures related to problems with surgeries.
OSF Heart of Mary was ranked above average on all but one of the six error prevention practice measures and all but one of the four safety problem prevention measures. Its results were mixed for measures related to surgery problems, staffing and infection prevention.
OSF Sacred Heart was also above average in three out of four measures to prevent safety problems and five out of seven measures related to preventing problems with surgeries. It was considered below average on five out of six staffing measures and its results were mixed on various measures related to infection prevention and error prevention practices.
You can find the full details on how each of those hospitals and others did in all 28 measures at hospitalsafetygrade.org.
National statistics on patient safety in hospitals are alarming, according to Leapfrog.
According to the organization:
— There are about 440,000 annual deaths from hospital errors, injuries, accidents and infections.
— One in 25 patients a year develops a preventable infection in a hospital.
— Medicare patients stand a 25 percent chance of experiencing injury, harm or death when they're hospital inpatients.
It's important for hospitals to have leaders who prioritize safety and good teamwork among hospital caregivers, Leapfrog notes.
Strong care teams can reduce infection rates, prevent mistakes and keep lines of communication open between the staff, patients and families, it says.