Hospitals should be places that you go to get better, not worse. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people lose their lives in hospitals due to medical errors or malpractice. Millions more are seriously hurt due to inadequate or negligent hospital care.
If you are planning to have a medical procedure or treatment done at a hospital in the near future, it’s important to do your homework and check your hospital’s safety grade. Here’s why.
Defining a Hospital Safety Grade
A hospital safety grade is exactly what it sounds like—a letter-grade rating that measures patient safety. The A, B, C, D, or F grades provide an easy-to-understand rating that allows consumers to seek a safe hospital. Many patients and medical providers want to know what a hospital’s safety grade is.
The good news is that this information is public and several organizations work diligently to survey and rate hospitals in order to hold them accountable for patient safety while providing local communities with the information they need to make informed decisions about medical care. Some of the most prominent organizations to release hospital safety grades include:
- The Leapfrog Group
- Consumer Reports
- Centers for Medicaid & Medicare
Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality analyzed the hospital safety grades released by Leapfrog in 2019. The results found were that:
- Patients at D- and F-graded hospitals were 92% more likely to die from safety issues, such as medical errors, falls, or infections, compared to A-graded hospitals.
- Patients at B- and C-graded hospitals had significantly higher rates of avoidable deaths, too—35% and 88%, respectively.
What To Do If Your Hospital Has a Bad Grade
If you’ve ever walked into a hospital and immediately noticed some red flags, you’re probably not the only one. Other times, you may not realize the warning signs of an unsafe hospital until you look up its hospital safety grade. In any case, if you find yourself receiving medical treatment at a hospital with mixed grades or bad grades across the board, you should:
- Have a family member or close friend check on you frequently.
- Ask for documentation regarding anything said between you and your doctor.
- Ask everyone to wash their hands.
- Always call a nurse or bedside aide to help before you get out of bed after surgery.
- Remember to always speak up for yourself and voice any concerns.
At Angel Law, P.C., our Portland medical malpractice attorneys have been assisting those injured or harmed due to negligent medical providers for decades. If you believe you were a victim of medical malpractice, contact our firm at (503) 862-8666 for a free consultation.