Law Offices of Brian R. Whitehead, PC

Oregon hospitals ranked high for safety, but dangers remain

Hospital patients want and deserve a safe care environment. So, readers here in Oregon may be encouraged by how the state did in Leapfrog’s hospital safety ratings last year.

Leapfrog graded hospitals in the U.S. for safety twice in 2018: once in the spring and once in the fall.

Oregon did pretty well in the spring report, with over two-fifths of the rated hospitals in the state receiving A grades. This gave Oregon the 11th highest percentage of A-graded hospitals in the nation.

The state did even better in the more recent fall report. In that report, 18 of the 33 rated Oregon hospitals were given an A grade. This made Oregon one of only three states that had over half of its hospitals get this top grade for fall 2018. Oregon was ranked No. 2 in the whole nation for A-grade hospital rate, with only New Jersey topping it.

While it is nice to see Oregon do so well in such ratings, it is important to remember that this strong showing doesn’t mean that the state’s hospitals are completely free of dangers for patients.

For one, there were still plenty of Oregon hospitals that got more lackluster safety grades. After the A grade, the next most common grade for the state’s hospitals in the fall 2018 report was a C. Eleven of the state’s hospitals received this grade. Also, three Oregon hospitals were given a B and one received a D.

Also, a hospital getting a high safety grade doesn’t mean that harmful errors are an impossibility there. Even hospitals that have historically done well with patient safety can make missteps that harm patients.

So, one hopes that hospitals in Oregon that did well in the ratings will make sure to keep safety a priority and not get complacent and that the hospitals that had a weaker showing in the ratings will work hard to strengthen their safety performance.

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