Minnesota hospitals are ranked 27th in the nation for patient safety, according to the Fall 2017 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, released on October 31. A total of 34 Minnesota hospitals were rated, and only 10 received an “A” rating for patient safety, while 12 received a “C” or below. Minnesota is tied with Louisiana for its patient safety in hospitals.
The Safety Grade looks at 27 measures, including nurse-to-patient ratios and standards for meeting them, to determine how a hospital keeps its patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors. While in previous years Minnesota ranked in the top 10, it has fallen to the bottom half as hospitals cut corners on safety issues, including staffing.
The majority of Minnesota hospitals surveyed declined to report their nurse staffing levels, though it’s a definitive measure of care and safety. According to the Leapfrog Group: “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.”
An analysis by the Leapfrog Group also found that D and F hospitals carry a nearly 50% greater risk of mortality than A hospitals, and that more than 33,000 lives could be saved if all hospitals performed at the level of A graded hospitals.
In Minnesota, there are no limits on the number of patients a nurse can be assigned to at one time. Minnesota nurses say they are taking care of more patients than ever, and they are often patients with complex issues.
Learn my Minnesota nurses are asking lawmakers to support safe patient limits and sign the petition to help ensure all Minnesotans receive the safe, quality care they deserve.