The rankings are in from the biannual Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades survey. The survey gave letter grades to 2,600 hospitals nationwide, looking at the numbers of errors, infections, injuries and accidents that occurred in these healthcare facilities in the previous six months. Leapfrog Group, which performs the survey, is a non-profit healthcare watchdog organization.
Where did Maryland’s hospitals rank overall in safety? As a whole, the state’s hospitals performed poorly, coming in at 38th in the country. While this ranking shows there’s lots of room for improvement, Maryland hospitals did move up nine places since the spring survey this past April. In that one, they were ranked 47th. So things are at least moving in the right direction.
In this most recent survey, 20 percent, or eight, of Maryland’s hospitals were awarded A’s. None of the state’s hospitals got F’s. Out of the eight hospitals awarded A’s, five are in the Baltimore area. They are:
- Anne Arundel Medical Center (Annapolis)
- Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center (Baltimore)
- Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore)
- Joseph Medical Center (Towson)
- Greater Baltimore Medical Center (Baltimore).
Four Baltimore-area hospitals earned B grades, and 10 received C’s. Bon Secour and St. Agnes Hospital were given D’s on their report cards.
Medical Errors & Injuries Are Common
While the good news coming out of the survey was that one-fifth of the state’s hospitals earned top grades and strides are being made for improvements overall, the sad fact is that medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections are much too common.
Patient safety experts at Baltimore’s own A-list hospital, Johns Hopkins, performed a study released in 2016 that showed that the third leading cause of death in the United States is medical error and that more than 250,000 people each year die because of medical mistakes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 650,000 people in the U.S. develop infections during a hospital stay, and about 75,000 die.
Infections, medication mix-ups, pressure sores, falls, premature discharges—there are a myriad of things that can and do go wrong during hospital stays. What recourse do innocent patients who suffer injuries have?
People enter hospitals because they require the care of medical professionals. Patients entrust their very lives to doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel. When that trust is violated and an injury occurs, it can be traumatic. Sometimes bad things happen in hospitals because the facilities are understaffed and they just don’t have the manpower to adequately care for patients. At other times, blatant and avoidable mistakes are made. Whatever the reason, injured patients do have recourse if medical malpractice is involved.
The general description of medical malpractice is that it occurs when a healthcare professional fails to give the expected level of medical care to a patient. However, proving medical malpractice is quite complicated. It can be wise to consult with a qualified malpractice attorney who can review all the facts in a case and advise you as to how to move forward.
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If you’ve been injured in a hospital or other medical setting, or if you have other legal concerns, Steve Heisler may be able to help. Call us today at 410-625-4878 for a free initial consultation, or use our convenient and confidential form.