N.J.’s hospitals climb safety rankings, Leapfrog says

By Anjalee Khemlani
New Jersey | Oct 31, 2017 at 12:54 pm

Forty-four percent of New Jersey’s hospitals were awarded “A” grades for safety by The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C-based organization, which released its much-anticipated Fall 2017 rankings Tuesday morning.

As a result, New Jersey’s state safety ranking improved from 15th to 11th nationally.

The biannual rankings help hospitals know where they stand in comparison to their peers, as well as how the state fares nationally.

Some did very well.

All CarePoint Health, Inspira Health Network, Virtua Health System and Kennedy Health System (now Jefferson Health) hospitals received “A” grades.

Other hospitals that received “A” grades include:

  • Bayshore Medical Center
  • Capital Heath Regional Medical Center
  • Clara Maass Medical Center
  • Englewood Hospital and Medical Center
  • Hackensack University Medical Center
  • Holy Name Medical Center
  • Jersey City Medical Center
  • Monmouth Medical Center
  • Morristown Medical Center
  • Newton Medical Center
  • Riverview Medical Center
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Somerset
  • Saint Barnabas Medical Center
  • Saint Peter’s University Hospital
  • Shore Medical Center
  • Southern Ocean Medical Center
  • The Valley Hospital

The frequency of the reports gives hospitals an opportunity to quickly go up (or down) the rankings. Six, in fact, jumped into the “A” range:

From “C” to “A”:

  • CarePoint Health in Bayonne

From “B” to “A”:

  • Capital Health Regional Medical Center
  • CarePoint Health in Hoboken
  • Clara Maass Medical Center
  • Hackensack University Medical Center
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton

From “C” to “B”:

  • Both AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center campuses
  • Community Medical Center of Tom’s River

From “D” to “C”:

  • Saint Michael’s Medical Center

A few did drop in grades:

From “A” to “B”:

  • CentraState Medical Center
  • University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro

From “A” to “C”:

  • JFK Medical Center

From “B” to “C”:

  • Chilton Medical Center
  • HackensackUMC Mountainside
  • Raritan Bay Medical Center of Perth Amboy
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
  • Both Saint Clare’s hospitals, in Denville and Dover
  • Francis Medical Center

From “C” to “D”:

  • Trinitas Regional Medical Center

Two other hospitals were given a “D” grade: The Meadowlands Hospital and University Hospital.

New Jersey has the highest rate of survey participation in 2017 for regions with over 50 targeted hospitals, at 93 percent participation, according to the report from Leapfrog.

Leah Binder, CEO and president of Leapfrog, said the organization feels the survey makes a difference.

“What we’ve learned is that transparency has a real impact on patient safety,” she said in a release. “By making the Hospital Safety Grades public, we’ve galvanized major changes in these states and many communities.

“Not only does it require dedication from national organizations, such as Leapfrog, to make this information public, but also from local coalitions, regional leaders, employers, business leaders and other community organizations to work with these hospitals and their communities to improve the quality and safety of health care.”

Linda Schwimmer, CEO and president of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, said the reporting of health care quality measures is a good thing for the industry.

“On behalf of local employers and New Jersey residents, we actively promote public reporting on health care quality measures, and are pleased to see such willingness by hospitals to be transparent on their safety and quality,” she said in a statement. “We encourage people to check the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades and other information on Leapfrog’s website when choosing a hospital.”

Schwimmer is on the Leapfrog board of directors and the HCQI is the regional leader for Leapfrog in New Jersey, according to the statement.

“We applaud the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute’s continued commitment to improving the safety of patients in local hospitals,” Binder said. “The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade helps shed light on those hospitals that need improvement, but also celebrates those committed to making their communities safer.”

Anjalee Khemlani | akhemlani@roi-nj.com | AnjKhem