Hospital Ratings System Shows Shines a Troubling Light on Dangerous Hospitals
A non-profit group named Leapfrog recently produced an analysis of over 2,600 U.S. hospitals. These hospitals were graded from A to F and ranked in terms of patient outcomes and risks of injury or death. At hospitals rated D and F, the study showed a more than 92% greater risk of death, infection, or botched surgery. According to the survey’s analysts, it behooves all Americans to check the ratings of a hospital before they seek treatment there. However, this isn’t always an option and, for reasons that are likely obvious, these hospitals are much more likely to be found in the poorest districts of the country.
Post-Surgical Infections Remain a Major Problem
One of the most infuriating problems that several of these hospitals faced was infection. While some infections (so-called superbugs like MRSA) may occur on occasion, a basic lack of upkeep on sanitation resulted in a number of serious infections to patients. Staph infections remain a serious problem and one with an obvious solution. Yet people are still dying from staph infections in hospitals. In 2017, 120,000 people contracted staph infections in hospitals and 20,000 of those died from the infection. Additionally, infections can happen in knee surgeries, hip replacements, and other types of surgery that can be avoided quite simply by following up with antibiotics.
In grading each hospital, Leapfrog claims that they took into account variables such as the relative complexity of a surgery and the frequency of infections. Additionally, there are some mistakes that should never happen and yet they do. These include leaving surgical instruments inside of a patient.
While the news may cause many concern, the Leapfrog grading system also found that its latest annual total for avoidable deaths was around 160,000 which is significantly lower than 2016 when there were over 200,000.
Not Graded on a Curve
The survey did not grade the hospitals on a curve. In fact, around 60% of all the hospitals surveyed received A’s or B’s. The final 40% were mostly C’s. Only 6% were given D’s. Those who went to C-rated hospitals faced an 88% increase in the risk of an avoidable death while those in B-rated hospitals faced a 35% percent increase.
However, going to a hospital that is rated an A is not necessarily an indication that everything will go well. Indeed, sometimes things unavoidably go badly and even the best doctors and hospitals make preventable mistakes. However, knowing that the hospital that you’re going to is providing you with top-quality care can be quite a reassurance. It’s definitely worth the time it takes to check out a hospital before allowing them to perform surgery on you.
Talk to a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you’ve been injured by medical negligence, the Tampa medical malpractice attorneys at Masterson, Hoag & Smith can help you recover damages. We have recovered multi-million-dollar settlements for our clients and can do the same for you. Give us a call or talk to us online for a free consultation.