Special Report

The States with the Safest Hospitals

10. Minnesota
> Hospitals with A grade: 37%
> Number of hospitals with A grade: 17
> Life expectancy at birth: 80.85 years
> Cancer death rate per 100,000: 173.7

More than one-third of Minnesota hospitals received an A grade by Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score. The state’s hospitals were especially successful at minimizing errors that could potentially occur during inpatient care. For all four criteria used by Leapfrog in assessing life-threatening hospital errors, Minnesota hospitals averaged fewer errors per 1,000 people than the nation’s average. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, one of the facilities receiving an A, outperformed national averages in all patient safety indicators (PSIs) dealing with surgery, procedures and childbirth.

9. Delaware
> Hospitals with A grade: 40%
> Number of hospitals with A grade: 2
> Life expectancy at birth: 78.32 years
> Cancer death rate per 100,000: 198.4

Out of the five Delaware hospitals reviewed by Leapfrog, two received an A. The Beebe Medical Center in Lewes and Christiana Hospital in Newark have low levels of falls and traumas. This is in contrast to other hospitals in the state where rates of patients falling are more than double the national average. All five reporting Delaware hospitals have fewer patients who suffer postsurgical wound splits than the national average.

8. California
> Hospitals with A grade: 41%
> Number of hospitals with A grade: 97
> Life expectancy at birth: 80.37 years
> Cancer death rate per 100,000: 166.9

Leapfrog reviewed 238 California hospitals — more than any other state in the country. The hospitals measured averaged 0.44 trauma and falls per 1,000 patients, which is lower than the national average of 0.57. One of the state’s Orange County hospitals, St. Joseph, has a rate of death of just  67.5 for every 1,000 serious treatable complications stemming from surgery. This makes St. Joseph one of the best in the country in this measure. Also, the state has 66 separate hospitals that recorded no serious falls or trauma during hospital stays.

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7. Michigan
> Hospitals with A grade: 44%
> Number of hospitals with A grade: 34
> Life expectancy at birth: 77.89 years
> Cancer death rate per 100,000: 191

Hospitals in the state of Michigan generally do a good job keeping patients safe. Cumulatively, these hospitals limited serious incidents of foreign objects left inside patients after surgery, air embolisms, pressure related ulcers, as well as falls and other traumatic injuries. Of the hospitals in the state that scored an A, 15 fully met Leapfrog’s standards for effective ICU staffing and received perfect scores in the survey for hospital leadership, mitigation of risk, quality of the nursing workforce and hand hygiene.

6. Virginia
> Hospitals with A grade: 44%
> Number of hospitals with A grade: 24
> Life expectancy at birth: 78.53 years
> Cancer death rate per 100,000: 188.6

Virginia hospitals have lower rates of accidental cuts or tears from medical treatment than the U.S. average. Virginia hospitals are also better at preventing death from serious treatable complications after surgery, with a rate that is substantially lower than the national average. Hospitals in Virginia have low averages of foreign object retention after surgery and pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores.

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