Late last week, Leapfrog released its latest Hospital Safety Scores, which measure, among other things, preventable medical errors and the availability of nurses in hospitals. The Hospital Safety Score uses national performance measures from numerous organizations and agencies to determine overall hospital safety scores.
Minnesota hospitals averaged 12th in the nation for patient safety in the group’s latest rankings, falling below Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Tennessee. Eleven of the 39 hospitals measured received a “C” grade of lower. What’s more, the majority of Minnesota hospitals—32 of the 39—declined to report their nurse staffing levels, which have been shown in study after study to have a major impact on patient safety and health outcomes.
According to the Leapfrog Group, which grades hospitals on their overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors:
“Patients receive most of their care from nurses, not doctors. When hospitals don’t have enough nurses or the nurses don’t have the right training, patients face a much greater risk of harm. Without enough qualified nurses, patients might face more complications, longer hospital stays, and even death.”
More than 1,000 people die every day from preventable harm and accidents in hospitals. While some hospitals have made statistically significant improvements in pre- and post-surgery processes since Leapfrog’s Fall 2014 survey, their performance on safety outcomes—including preventing errors, accidents and infections—has not significantly improved, Leapfrog notes.