May 3, 2024

National hospital safety rankings reflect infection prevention, patient experience improvements

Editor's Note

Released May 1, the most recent Leapfrog Group hospital patient safety grades reflect declines in preventable healthcare-associated infections and improvements in patient’s hospital experiences since fall 2023.

Leapfrog, a nonprofit, releases its Hospital Safety Grades report biannually, assigning traditional letter grades to nearly 3,000 general hospitals based on medical errors, accidents, infections, and other safety criteria.

The improvement in patient experience—a set of measures using patient-reported perspectives on hospital care—is particularly encouraging because the metric is difficult to improve without delivering better overall care, said said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, in a press release. “We were also pleased to see the decrease in preventable infections, which cause terrible suffering and sometimes death. When we look at these positive trends, we see lives saved—and that is gratifying.” 

According to the press release, the improvement marks the first turnaround in patient experience since it began worsening at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is still below pre-pandemic levels.

Since fall 2022, when HAIs were at their highest peak since 2016, 92 percent of the 3,000 acute-care hospitals included in the rankings improved performance on at least one of three preventable infections. Specifically:

  • Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) decreased by 34% 
  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) decreased by 30%    
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) decreased by 30%   

According to a summary of peer-reviewed research published in BMJ, an estimated 250,000 people a year die of preventable errors and infections in hospitals, which makes patient safety problems the third leading cause of death in the United States, the report concludes.



Join our community

Learn More
Video Spotlight
Live chat by BoldChat