Spring 2023 Hospital Safety Grades Announced

Data suggests lack of hospital patient safety poses a serious health equity issue

The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit representing hundreds of the nation’s most influential employers and purchasers of health care, driven in State of Michigan by the Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM), announced the new spring 2023 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades. Hospitals earn an “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, or “F” Hospital Safety Grade reflecting how well they protect patients from medical errors, accidents, injuries, and infections. These preventable errors kill an estimated 250,000 Americans every year and harm millions more.

For the first time data in Hospital Safety Grades incorporate hospital performance during the height of the pandemic, 2020-2022, and it suggests the average risk of three of the most harmful healthcare-associated infections (HAIs)—including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI)— spiked to a 5-year high in hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Michigan, 82 hospitals were graded, and 22 earned an “A,” 27 earned a “B,” 29 earned a “C,” and four earned a “D.” There were zero “F” grades reported for the state. Michigan has not seen this many “D” grades since Fall 2017. The worst ever grading period was Fall 2015 with three “F” hospitals, two “D” hospitals and only 19 “A” hospitals.

Michigan ranks 24th in the country for hospital patient safety, down from tenth place in 2021.

The data suggests that the lack of hospital patient safety poses a serious health equity issue. The four recorded “D” hospitals were located within Detroit, Pontiac, and Flint where 50 percent or more of the population identifies themselves as a race other than white.

In the Metro Detroit combined counties of Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne, only three hospitals out of the 28 graded earned an “A.” The “A” hospitals were:  Ascension Providence in Southfield, Garden City Hospital and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.

“There is little doubt that hospital patient safety was negatively affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. In Fall 2021, Michigan recorded 35 “A” hospitals and was ranked tenth in the country for hospital patient safety. Now we rank 24th with only 22 “A” hospitals,” said Bret Jackson, President and CEO of EAM. “When a hospital makes

an error, the cost to fix the mistake usually falls to the patient and employer. Having less ‘A’ hospitals increases additional unnecessary human harm and higher health care costs.”

The University of Michigan Health, Michigan Medicine, in Ann Arbor was one of the twenty hospitals in the country to repeatedly earn an “A” grade since the inception of the Hospital Safety Grades in 2013.

The 22 “A” hospitals in Michigan were:

  • Ascension Providence Hospital in Southfield
  • Ascension St Joseph Hospital in Tawas City
  • Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo
  • Garden City Hospital
  • Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson
  • Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital
  • Holland Hospital
  • Lake Huron Medical Center in Port Huron
  • McLaren Port Huron
  • Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital
  • Munson Medical Center in Traverse City
  • ProMedica Charles and Virginia Hickman Hospital in Adrian
  • ProMedica Coldwater Regional Hospital
  • Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital
  • Spectrum Health Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph
  • Spectrum Health Lakeland Niles Hospital
  • Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital
  • Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville
  • Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital
  • Trinity Health Livingston Hospital in Howell
  • Trinity Health Grand Rapids
  • University of Michigan Health – Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor

“In light of the alarming findings on the increase in healthcare-associated infections, we need the full commitment of hospital leadership to ensure patient safety is a priority. The COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly strained hospitals and their resources, and we now have the data to show the damage it caused,” said Leah Binder, CEO and president of The Leapfrog Group. “Despite the pandemic, several hospitals in this community remained steadfast in their commitment to patient safety, and we congratulate those who achieved high grades.”

The Leapfrog Group has a more than 10-year history of assigning letter grades to general hospitals throughout the U.S., based on a hospital’s ability to prevent medical errors and harm to patients. Updated twice each year, in the spring and the fall, the grading system is peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. Hospital Safety Grade results are based on more than 30 national performance measures and are updated each fall and spring.

For more information about the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, as well as individual hospital grades and state rankings, please visit HospitalSafetyGrade.org and follow The Leapfrog Group on Twitter, Facebook, and via its newsletter. 

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