Do Your Research Before a Planned Admission

From the GIC Winter 2015 Newsletter pdf format of fybwinter2015.pdf

Massachusetts scores second in the nation for the percentage of hospitals with an “A” patient safety rating. With 63% of graded hospitals receiving the Leapfrog Group’s “A” patient safety rating, residents have many great options to choose from. The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit organization comprised of large purchasers of health care including the GIC, releases safety scores for hospitals twice each year. The fall rankings place Massachusetts behind only Maine in the percentage of hospitals earning the highest patient safety score. No Massachusetts hospitals scored below a “C”, a distinction Massachusetts shares with only 10 other states.

Since national data show that one in 25 patients gets an infection in the hospital and an estimated 1,000 Americans die each day from preventable medical errors, patient safety remains a major concern.  Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, despite efforts, including those of the Leapfrog Group, to try to change practice patterns.  Hospitals report to Leapfrog on a range of patient safety measures.  The Hospital Safety Score is calculated by top patient safety experts and is peer-reviewed before being posted for consumers to search.

  • What can you do as a patient?  Most importantly, be engaged in your health care.  Ask about the pros and cons of a proposed procedure for your condition.  If a hospitalization is needed, visit Leapfrog’s website to see how the hospital ranks on:
  • Staffing levels in the Intensive Care Unit
  • The number of high-risk surgeries the hospital performs by type of surgery (predicted survival rates are substantially higher at hospitals that perform a high volume of these procedures)
  • The number of hospital acquired conditions and how the hospital compares to national averages
  • Lengths of stay and readmission rates

You will also be able to view the overall Patient Safety Score for the hospital.  If it doesn’t rank highly, discuss with your doctor whether you should go to another hospital.  For additional information on hospital patient safety and to compare hospitals in your area on their patient safety rankings, visit Leapfrog’s website

This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission .