Leapfrog out with latest Hospital Safety Grades; 25 N.J. facilities earn top marks

The Leapfrog Group is out with its semiannual Hospital Safety Grades for Fall 2020, and New Jersey’s medical centers appear to have slipped a bit in the ratings.

It should be noted, however, that the data used to calculate the ratings — including up to 27 measures — does not including findings collected during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Leapfrog said. The organization noted that future ratings will include pandemic data.

“We see in the news every day the extraordinary courage of clinicians and staff caring for patients stricken by COVID-19,” Leapfrog CEO and President Leah Binder said in a prepared statement. “What’s less apparent — yet equally laudable — are the untold efforts behind the scenes to protect patients. Hospitals’ commitment to the fundamentals have saved lives, too.”

Of the 67 New Jersey hospitals, 25 earned “A” grades — but, at 37.3% of the total, that was down from the spring, when 44% of the hospitals rated earned the highest marks.

(See the table below for all the New Jersey grades.)

In addition, while six hospitals in the Garden State improved their grades — Bayshore Medical Center, Cape Regional Medical Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, Inspira Medical Center in Vineland, Saint Peter’s University Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center of Trenton — another 15 slipped at least one letter in the ratings.

New Jersey did, however, exceed the national average of 34% “A” grades, and only two hospitals in the state received “D” marks — East Orange General Hospital and St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center — while none received an “F” grade.

Among the 29 hospitals around the country that have earned “A” grades on all 18 Leapfrog rankings, one is in New Jersey: Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, which was one of five RWJBarnabas Health facilities to earn top marks.

“We understand that what matters most to our patients is safe, effective care, and that’s why Saint Barnabas Medical Center and the RWJBarnabas Health system has made a commitment to positive outcomes through evidence-based care processes,” Saint Barnabas CEO and President Stephen Zieniewicz said in a statement.

Englewood Health also received an “A” mark, after earning the Leapfrog Group’s Pandemic Hero of the Year national award earlier this month.

“The entire team at Englewood Health takes great pride in receiving an ‘A’ from the Leapfrog Group for consistently putting patient care first,” Kathleen Kaminsky, senior vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer, said in a statement.

And Jefferson Health touted the “A” grades for its three New Jersey hospitals, in Cherry Hill, Stratford and Washington Township.

“At a time when health care organizations are more vital than ever, we are especially honored to be recognized for our ongoing commitment to safety,” Jefferson NJ President Brian Sweeney said in a statement. “It is especially gratifying to have all three of our acute care hospitals reach this level of achievement.”

Hospitals with “A” grades:

  • Bayshore Medical Center, Holmdel (up from “C” in Spring 2020);
  • CarePoint Health’s Bayonne Medical Center;
  • Chilton Medical Center, Pompton Plains;
  • Englewood Hospital and Medical Center;
  • Hackensack Meridian Health’s Pascack Valley Medical Center, Westwood;
  • Hunterdon Medical Center, Flemington;
  • Inspira Medical Center, Elmer;
  • Inspira Medical Center, Vineland (up from “B”);
  • Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital;
  • Jefferson Stratford Hospital;
  • Jefferson Washington Township Hospital;
  • Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch;
  • Morristown Medical Center;
  • Newark Beth Israel Medical Center;
  • Newton Medical Center;
  • Ocean Medical Center, Brick;
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton;
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital – Somerset, Somerville;
  • Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston;
  • Saint Clare’s Hospital of Denville;
  • Saint Clare’s Hospital of Dover;
  • Saint Michael’s Medical Center, Newark;
  • Saint Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick (up from “B”);
  • Luke’s Warren Campus, Phillipsburg;
  • The Valley Hospital, Ridgewood.