In June 2012, a not-for-profit group representing corporations and public agencies that purchase health benefits for employees issued their annual survey of Illinois Hospitals. According to Leapfrog Group, based in Washington DC, seven Illinois Hospitals received failing grades regarding the healthcare they provide to patients. All seven failing hospitals identified are located in Chicago. In addition, Loyola Medical Center, Loyal Gottlieb Memorial Hospital and the University of Illinois at Chicago were among thirty hospitals that barely received passing grades.
Reducing the number of hospitals errors has become an increasingly priority for the federal government. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (or CMS) now requires that hospitals report all medical mistakes in order to receive federal funding. The purpose of this requirement is to encourage hospitals to carefully analyze their mistakes in order to reduce these mistakes in the future. Decreasing hospital errors should also reduce the number of needless patient injuries and deaths, as well as the number of medical malpractice lawsuits arising from these medical mistakes. However, according to a recent report issued by the Department of Health & Human Services, hospitals rarely report their medical mistakes despite CMS's requirement. In fact, only 1 out of 7 hospital errors are reported by hospitals according to the federal government. Consequently, it does not appear hospitals are identifying and analyzing their medical mistakes--at least publically. Fortunately, the federal government and private organizations have identified this problem and have effectively called out hospitals for failing to report their errors in several public reports.
In arriving at their grades for Illinois hospitals, Leapfrog considered variety of factors including patient outcomes and safety initiatives of each hospital. Information on these factors was obtained using hospital responses and data from CMS. For hospitals that refused to provide responses to the information requested, Leapfrog used additional information obtained from CMS and the American Hospital Association.
There were a total of 114 Illinois hospitals rated by Leapfrog. The group gave A ratings to 44% of the Illinois hospitals examined. Seven hospitals in Chicago that received top ratings were: Advocate Illinois Masonic; Advocate Trinity Hospital; Northwestern Memorial Hospital; Resurrection Hospital; Rush University Medical Center; Swedish Covenant Hospital; Thorek Memorial Hospital; and the University of Chicago Medical Center. However, there were nine hospitals in Chicago that received failing grades: Loretto Hospital; Norwegian Hospital; Sacred Heart Hospital; Roseland Community Hospital; and South Shore Hospital. Loyal Medical Center, Loyola Gottlieb Memorial Hospital and the University of Illinois at Chicago were among thirty teaching hospitals in Illinois that barely received passing grades. Hopefully, publically scoring hospitals will encourage troubled hospitals to work harder to improve patient safety. Otherwise, these hospitals may require substantial changes in how the operate--from top to bottom.
Crane's Chicago Business, Some Illinois Teaching Hospital Fail To Make Grade, June 6, 2012.
MSNBC, Only 1 Out Of 7 Hospitals Errors Reported, Study Finds, January 6, 2012.
New York Times, Report Finds Most Hospital Errors Go Unreported, January 6, 2012.