Nov 22, 2022 - News

Virginia is the No. 2 state for hospital safety

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Virginia hospitals are some of the safest in the nation with just over half earning an "A" grade, making the state No. 2 in the country in a biannual ranking of states by hospital safety.

Driving the news: For the past 10 years, the national health care watchdog organization The Leapfrog Group has scored nearly 3,000 U.S. hospitals on how well they protect patients from preventable medical errors.

  • Virginia has hovered near the top of the list since 2018, per the most recent data available.

In Richmond, Bon Secours Richmond Community Hospital, Retreat Doctors' Hospital, Henrico Doctors' Hospital and Parham Doctors' Hospital all earned an "A." St. Mary's, St. Francis, Chippenham, Johnston-Willis and Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center earned "B"s.

The intrigue: VCU Medical Center Main Hospital, the largest hospital in the Richmond area, declined to participate in the fall survey.

  • It earned a "C" grade in the last seven semiannual scores.
  • VCU did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Why it matters: Around 16,000 lives have been saved nationwide since Leapfrog began its scoring using 22 key patient safety measures, including hand-washing and ICU staffing, the organization estimates.

  • "The big difference over this decade is that for the first time, we publicly reported each hospital's record on patient safety, and that galvanized the kind of change we all hoped for," said Leapfrog president and CEO Leah Binder in a statement.

Improving patient safety in Virginia's hospitals has been top priority for the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association since 2010, Julian Walker, a spokesperson for the group, tells Axios.

  • "The Leapfrog Group scores and other accolades for Virginia hospitals are a reflection of the intentional efforts by the hospital community to deliver exceptional care and enhance patient safety," Walker said.

By the numbers: Statewide, 37, or 52%, of Virginia's 71 acute care hospitals evaluated earned "A" grades.

  • 22 hospitals received a "B."
  • 11 hospitals received a "C."
  • And one hospital, Fauquier Hospital in Warrenton, received a "D" grade.

New Hampshire was ranked No. 1 in the nation with 54% of its hospitals earning an "A" rating.


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