Apr. 29—Nearly one-third of hospitals given safety scores by the Leapfrog Group improved their performance by at least 10 percent last year, according to score updates released Tuesday.

The national not-for-profit organization scores more than 2,500 hospitals each year on their ability to prevent errors, injuries, and infections. The majority of score improvements in this latest update are the result of hospitals’ pursuit of evidence-based process change and safe practices, such as encouraging hand hygiene, increasing staff-to-patient ratios, and administering the correct antibiotics prior to surgery.

“The data tells us that more hospitals are working harder to create a safe environment, and that’s good news for patients,” Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog, said in a release. “Since a ream of disappointing studies suggested that through 2010 progress in patient safety was virtually zero, the fact that we are seeing results now is notable.”

Of the 2,522 hospitals issued a Hospital Safety Score, 804 earned an “A;” 668 earned a “B;” 878 earned a “C;” 150 earned a “D;” and 22 earned an “F.”

The spring 2014 data found some hospitals remain “stagnant” and continually rank as poor performers. Binder raised concerns that some hospitals with national name recognition have poor safety records, according to the group’s report card.

“While these hospitals often receive accolades for their surgical teams, state-of-the-art equipment, and sought after physicians, they don’t make the grade when it comes to patient safety,” Binder said.

Overall, there was a 6.3 percent mean improvement in hospital performance since 2012.

Publication Date: Tuesday, April 29, 2014