PRINCETON — New Jersey topped the fall 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades with the highest percentage of A hospitals, a first for the state. New Jersey also had the highest rate of participation in the Leapfrog Hospital Survey among regions with more than 50 hospitals.

In New Jersey, 56 percent of participating hospitals — or 38 hospitals — received the highest grade of A. In contrast, in the Spring 2018 survey New Jersey ranked 17 with 33 percent of hospitals receiving an A.

The Leapfrog Group assesses more than 2,600 hospitals on preventable errors and infections in hospitals, which studies say kill more than 500 people every day in the United States.

The independent, nonprofit grading system assigns A, B, C, D, and F letter grades to general acute-care hospitals in the United States. Leapfrog Safety Grades are focused entirely on avoidable errors, accidents, injuries and infections.

Highlights from New Jersey hospitals include:

  • 38 A hospitals – 56.7% (16 more A’s than last round)
  • 16 B hospitals – 23.9% (8 fewer B’s than last round)
  • 11 C hospitals – 16.4% (7 fewer C’s than last round)
  • 1 D hospital – 1.5% (1 more D than last round)
  • 1 F hospital – 1.5% (same number of F’s as last round)

Sixty-seven hospitals, two more than in the Spring 2018 round, were graded.

In the latest round, 24 New Jersey hospitals went up in their grade, four of which went up by two grades (St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, Saint Clare’s Hospital of Denville, Saint Clare’s Hospital of Dover, and Saint Michael’s Medical Center).

Five hospitals went down in their grade.

Two hospitals performed poorly: University Hospital in Newark received a D and East Orange General Hospital received an F.

“We’re proud of the high number of hospitals in New Jersey that voluntarily submit their quality and safety data to Leapfrog, and then also use that information to continually improve patient care,” said Linda Schwimmer, President & CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, which serves as the Regional Leader for Leapfrog in New Jersey.

“We encourage all hospitals to use the survey to improve their performance. Our experience shows that hospitals committed to creating a culture of safety and quality perform well. That’s the common denominator,” she said.

Linda Schwimmer also serves on the Leapfrog Board of Directors.

The Leapfrog Group expanded its rating this year to include an assessment of how hospitals use Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA), which helps reduce the risk of giving a patient the wrong medication. Medication errors affect as many as one in four patients.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is reviewed by a National Expert Panel and receives guidance from the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. It is updated every six months, once in the fall and once in the spring.

For more information about the Safety Grades, as well as individual hospital grades and state rankings, please visit www.hospitalsafetygrade.org.

About the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute

The New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute is the only independent, nonpartisan, multi-stakeholder advocate for health care quality in New Jersey. The Quality Institute’s mission is to undertake projects and promote system changes that ensure that quality, safety, accountability and cost-containment are closely linked to the delivery of health care services in New Jersey. Learn more about us at www.njhcqi.org.