Hospitals across the nation are now receiving letter grades—A, B, C, D, or F—for patient safety. The new initiative comes from The Leapfrog Group, a health quality nonprofit, which drew on expertise from a blue ribbon panel including several Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) experts.
Leapfrog’s hospital grades—posted online June 6, 2012 at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org—were based on up to 26 measures, including nurse staffing levels, processes for preventing infection and medication errors, and the rate of patient injuries, bloodstream infections, or surgical errors.
“We have failed to engage consumers on this issue,” Ashish Jha, HSPH associate professor of health policy and management, said in a June 2, 2012 Boston Globe article. Jha, who served as project adviser to Leapfrog, said that the letter grades provide an easy way to compare hospitals and pressure hospital leaders to make improvements.
Leapfrog was created in 2000 by large employers and health insurance purchasers who are concerned about the roughly 400 patient deaths caused daily by medical errors. Other HSPH experts who served on Leapfrog’s blue ribbon panel included Lucian Leape, adjunct professor of health policy, and Sara Singer, assistant professor of health care management and policy.