More on Quality and Safety

Maine hospitals lead in Leapfrog safety grades

D and F graded hospitals carry nearly twice the risk of mortality of A-graded hospitals, with over 50,000 lives at stake, says Leapfrog analysis.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

Maine led states with the highest percentage of A grade hospitals in The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades released today.

In Maine, 59% of hospitals earned an A, followed by Utah (56%), Virginia (56%), Oregon (48%) and North Carolina (47%).

North Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska tied for last place, with zero hospitals getting an A grade in Leapfrog results.

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More than 2,600 hospitals were graded, with 33% earning an A, 25% earning a B, 34% earning a C, 8% a D and just under 1% an F.

Notably, 36 hospitals nationwide achieved an A in every grading update since the launch of the safety grade in spring 2012.


The Leapfrog Group focuses its rating entirely on patient safety in such incidents as preventable errors, accidents, injuries and infections.

D and F hospitals carry nearly twice the risk of mortality of A hospitals, according to Leapfrog analysis. Over 50,000 lives could be saved if all hospitals performed at the level of A graded hospitals.

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


The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is a bi-annual grading assigning A to F letter grades to general acute-care hospitals in the U.S. 

The report coincides with the twentieth anniversary of the Institute of Medicine's report, To Err Is Human, which revealed nearly 100,000 lives are lost every year due to preventable medical errors. Subsequent research suggests the number may be twice as high.

The findings of the IOM report laid the foundation for the work of The Leapfrog Group.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is reviewed by a National Expert Panel and receives guidance from the Armstrong Institute.


"In stark contrast to 20 years ago, we're now able to pinpoint where the problems are, and that allows us to grade hospitals," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. "It also allows us to better track progress. Encouragingly, we are seeing fewer deaths from the preventable errors we monitor in our grading process."

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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