The Leapfrog hospital ratings

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Good afternoon everyone,

Over the past couple of years, Delaware Business Now has taken a look at the sometimes controversial safety ratings posted by Leapfrog Group.

Last year, Delaware was one of a few states that did not have a hospital with an A rating.

This year, Christiana Care’s Christiana Hospital and Beebe Medical Center earned the top grade.

However, Bayhealth’s two hospitals in Dover and Milford received Ds as well as a headline in the state’s largest newspaper. The Milford campus opened earlier this year.

In response to the ranking, a Bayhealth official told the News Journal thatthe system had participated in the Leapfrog survey for the first time and judged itself too harshly.

Around the country hospitals, such as Wilmington’s Saint Francis, have cited the time and effort of filling out the survey in declining to participate in the Leapfrog program.

In announcing the latest report, Leapfrog’s CEO says its ratings have contributed to improved patient safety and fewer deaths.

“We’re now able to pinpoint where the problems are, and that allows us to grade hospitals,” stated Leah Binder. “It also allows us to better track progress. Encouragingly, we are seeing fewer deaths from the preventable errors we monitor in our grading process.” Binder also made reference to a report on hospital safety a couple of decades ago that helped set the stage for more transparency.

Binder citedan analysisearlier this year by the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality that found 45,000 fewer deaths than a 2016 analysis, based on the prevalence of safety problems in hospitals graded by The Leapfrog Group.

The safety challenges that hospitals face are formidable. As hospital stays get shorter, a large percentage of patients are seriously ill and vulnerable to infections. Superbugs that can fight off earlier treatments add to the challenges.

Hospitals are on the case and are taking numerous measures.

In an unrelated development, the News Journal reported (paywall) that 200 people in and around Bayhealth are being informed of a case of tuberculosis.

A state public health official said individuals who may have been affected were contacted. It was determined that the risk was not great enough to justify a press release or other public notice. (See full release from the state here).

Enjoy your weekend. This newsletter returns on Monday for a shortened Thanksgiving week.

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