New Jersey ranks 9th best in the country — up from 14th in the spring — for having the safest hospitals based on how well they prevented infections, accidents and errors and communicated with their patients, according to the latest Leapfrog Hospital Safety report card released Wednesday.
The report graded 70 acute-care hospitals in the state, with 30 earning A’s, 16 B’s, 22 C’s and 2 D’s. No hospital flunked, the report card said.
New Jersey’s longest straight-A holder, Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, slipped from an A to a C this round. Until this report card, Saint Barnabas, which just underwent a major executive purge, had been one of 27 hospitals in the country and the only one in New Jersey that had earned an A since the report card system began nine years ago.
A statement from the hospital said the decline would be a one-time blip.
“Saint Barnabas Medical Center is committed to delivering safe, high-quality care to our patients,” the statement said. “We are continually refining practices and processes to enhance patient outcomes and our new management team has already identified strategies for improvement. As a High Reliability Organization, we remain dedicated to delivering excellent patient care and returning the organization to the “A” grade that we have maintained since 2012.”
St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson and St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center earned Ds this round, the only two hospitals to do so.
“A safe and positive outcome for every patient is the ultimate measure of every clinician at St. Joseph’s Health. Our most recent Leapfrog scores are certainly disappointing, but do not fully reflect the efforts we have made to improve quality and patient safety throughout our entire organization,” according to a statement from St. Joseph’s Health, the hospitals’ parent company. “Which metrics accurately define quality outcomes are the subject of continuous debate among providers, payers, patients, and consumer advocates.”
“While making healthcare decisions, it’s critically important for patients to use all available tools at their disposal, such as speaking with trusted family and consulting with doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers,” the statement said.
Although the majority of data is from 2019, this is the first safety score that includes some data from 2020 and 2021 reflecting the coronavirus’s impact on hospitals, Leapfrog’s Vice President of Administration Erica Mobley said. The data includes infection prevention measures and policies that prevent mistakes, such as adequate intensive care staffing levels and computerizing physicians’ orders, she said.
Leapfrog is a nonprofit that large employers and other health care purchasers created 21 years ago to improve safety in response to a 1999 Institute of Medicine report that found as many as 98,000 people die from preventable mistakes in hospitals each year.
The grades do not measure which hospital has the most respected doctors or successful treatment but rather which kept its patients safe from preventable harm, like hospital-borne infections and falls, and avoided mistakes by consistently using an electronic system to order and track prescriptions.
The grade is based on 31 data points, more than previous report cards, that includes errors that frequently occur after surgery, such as internal bleeding and sepsis, widespread blood or organ infections, Mobley said.
Here is the full list of hospitals, in alphabetical order:
Atlanticare Regional Medical Center – City Campus Atlantic City C;
Atlanticare Regional Medical Center-Mainland Campus, Pomona B;
Bayshore Medical Center, Holmdel A;
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, Paramus, A;
Cape Regional Medical Center, Cape May Court House, B;
Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell, Pennington B;
Capital Health Regional Medical Center, Trenton B;
CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center, Bayonne, B;
CarePoint Health-Christ Hospital, Jersey City C;
Carepoint Health-Hoboken University Medical Center C;
CentraState Medical Center, Freehold C;
Chilton Medical Center, Pompton Plains A;
Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville B;
Community Medical Center, Toms River B;
Cooper University Hospital, Camden C;
East Orange General Hospital, East Orange C;
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood A;
Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center, Montclair C;
Hackensack Meridian Health Palisades Medical Center, North Bergen, B;
Hackensack Meridian Health Pascack Valley Medical Center, Westwood, A;
Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack A;
Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Hackettstown, C;
Holy Name Medical Center, Teaneck, C;
Hudson Regional Hospital, Secaucus, C;
Hunterdon Medical Center, Flemington A;
Inspira Medical Center, Elmer, A;
Inspira Medical Center, Mullica Hill, A;
Inspira Medical Center Vineland B;
Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital, A;
Jefferson Stratford Hospital, A;
Jefferson Washington Township Hospital, Turnersville, A;
Jersey City Medical Center B;
Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune, A;
JFK Medical Center, Edison, C;
Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch A;
Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus, Lakewood B;
Morristown Medical Center, Morristown, A;
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center B;
Newton Medical Center A;
Ocean Medical Center, Brick A;
Overlook Medical Center, Summit A;
Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center, Plainsboro, A;
Raritan Bay Medical Center of Old Bridge B;
Raritan Bay Medical Center of Perth Amboy B;
Riverview Medical Center, Red Bank, A;
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, C;
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton A;
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway A;
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, Somerville A;
Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston C;
Saint Clare’s Hospital of Denville A;
Saint Clare’s Hospital of Dover A;
Saint Michael’s Medical Center, Newark B;
Saint Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick A;
Salem Medical Center C;
Shore Medical Center, Somers Point C;
Southern Ocean Medical Center, Manahawkin C;
St. Francis Medical Center of Trenton C;
St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, Paterson D;
St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center D;
St. Luke’s Warren Campus, Phillipsburg A;
St. Mary’s General Hospital, Passaic A;
The Valley Hospital, Ridgewood A;
Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Elizabeth C;
University Hospital, Newark, C;
Virtua Marlton Hospital B;
Virtua Memorial Hospital, Mount Holly C;
Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital; Camden C;
Virtua Voorhees Hospital A;
Virtua Willingboro Hospital C.
Linda Schwimmer, president and CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, a research and advocacy organization that releases the information with Leapfrog, praised the state’s hospitals for participating. “Our hospitals continued to show their commitment to quality, safety and transparency despite the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
Leapfrog graded 2,900 hospitals nationwide. Virginia scored the highest, followed by North Carolina, Idaho, Massachusetts and Colorado.
Pennsylvania was eighth highest; New York was 43rd; Delaware was tied for 46th with North Dakota and Washington D.C.
“The Leapfrog Group thanks the health care workers in New Jersey and nationwide who work so hard for their communities. It’s important we recognize excellence, especially in times like these. But it’s also important to know when hospitals fall short because lives are at stake,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We see every day how hospitals can and will improve their safety when patients make clear it’s important to them.”
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