Healthcare News & Insights

Consumer Reports releases national hospital safety ratings

On the heels of the recently reported safety scores compiled by the Leapfrog Group comes another hospital safety ranking – this time from Consumer Reports.

For the first time ever, Consumer Reports has released ratings for thousands of hospitals nationwide in its most recent issue.

According to its website, the magazine decided to create a ranking system for hospitals to make it easier for people to know just how safe the hospitals in their communities are.

To achieve that goal, the magazine compiled data from several sources to determine its rankings, including some of the same info used by the Leapfrog Group. Using that data, safety scores were assigned to various hospitals.

Safety categories

Hospital safety ratings were reported in six categories: infections, readmissions, communication, CT scanning, complications and mortality.

Although the ratings included info for more than 4,000 hospitals, less than a quarter of them actually received a safety score because data for each category wasn’t readily available from many hospitals.

Overall, the data shows that although hospitals have generally made great strides in improving patient safety, there’s more work to be done. In fact, the highest scoring hospital – Billings Clinic in Montana – only earned a 72 on the 100-point scoring scale.

Even worse, the lowest-scoring hospital – Sacred Heart Hospital in Chicago – received a score of 16. Consumer Reports found that the hospital’s rate of bloodstream infections was more than two times higher than the national benchmark.

Doing things right

But the hospitals that are doing things right are going above and beyond to provide the best patient care.

For example, Lancaster General in Pennsylvania had the best readmission score among all ranked hospitals. Its secret? The hospital relies on a strong network of primary care physicians to stop problems before they start, and it takes a team approach to providing the best treatment.

Where does your hospital rank on the scale? How does it compare to other hospitals nationwide? Find out here.

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