Leapfrog survey: N.J. hospitals make dramatic improvements in safety

53 of state’s hospitals (76%) received ‘A’ or ‘B’ grade for safety, increase of 9% since spring

New Jersey hospitals are remarkably safer than they were in the spring — at least, that’s the conclusion from the Fall 2022 Leapfrog Group safety rankings, the latest effort of the biannual look at hospitals across the country.

In the latest report, released this morning, 76% of New Jersey hospitals received an “A” or “B” grade for safety, an increase of 9% since the spring. In addition, 13 hospitals improved their grade, while only three were downgraded.

The state also scored the highest in participation (98.6%), as 70 of the state’s 71 hospitals submitted the data needed for scoring.

The grades of the 70 hospitals were as follows:

  • 33 “A” hospitals — 47% (three more A’s than last round)
  • 20 “B” hospitals — 29% (four more B’s than last round)
  • 14 “C” hospitals — 20% (five fewer C’s than last round)
  • 3 “D” hospitals — 4% (one fewer D than last round)
  • 0 “F” hospitals — 0% (same number of F’s as last round)

New Jersey now ranks 6th for percentage of “A” hospitals, as compared to 12th in Spring 2022.

The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit representing hundreds of employers and purchasers of health care. The independent grading system assigns an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F” grade to 3,000 general hospitals across the country based on over 30 national measures of preventable errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

It is driven in New Jersey by the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute.

Adelisa Perez-Hudgins, director of quality for the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, said the grades show hospitals are rebounding from the pandemic.

“During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the data showed a distressing nationwide decline in patient safety measures, as staffing and other challenges stressed hospitals and health care systems, including hospitals in New Jersey,” she said. “In New Jersey, in this half of the year, we see improvements in the data. We are not back to pre-pandemic quality, but we are heading in the right direction.”

The Fall 2022 release of grades marks the 10th anniversary of the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. An analysis by the Leapfrog Group of data across the Hospital Safety Grade’s history suggests improvement in patient safety over time.

Although measures used in the Hospital Safety Grade have changed in the past 10 years, many measures reliably show a consistent pattern of better performance. For five of the outcome measures, improvements in performance saved an estimated more than 16,000 lives over the 10-year period.

“Never in history have we seen across-the-board improvement in patient safety until this last decade, coinciding with the history of the Hospital Safety Grade,” CEO Leah Binder said. “We salute hospitals for this milestone and encourage them to accelerate their hard work saving patient lives.

“For a long time, the health care community tried to improve safety, but progress stalled. The big difference over this decade is that, for the first time, we publicly reported each hospital’s record on patient safety, and that galvanized the kind of change we all hoped for. It’s not enough change, but we are on the right track.”

New Jersey’s ‘A’ hospitals

  • Bergen New Bridge (Paramus)
  • Capital Health Hopewell (Pennington)
  • Chilton Medical Center (Pompton Plains)
  • Englewood
  • Hackensack Meridian Bayshore (Holmdel)
  • Hackensack Meridian Hackensack UMC
  • Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore (Neptune)
  • Hackensack Meridian Old Bridge
  • Hackensack Meridian Palisades
  • Hackensack Meridian Pascack Valley (Westwood)
  • Hackensack Meridian Raritan Bay (Perth Amboy)
  • Hackensack Meridian Riverview (Red Bank)
  • Hunterdon Medical
  • Hudson Regional (Secaucus)
  • Inspira (Elmer)
  • Inspira (Mullica Hill)
  • Inspira (Vineland)
  • Jefferson (Cherry Hill)
  • Jefferson (Stratford)
  • Jefferson Washington Twp. (Turnersville)
  • Monmouth Medical (Long Branch)
  • Morristown Medical Center
  • Overlook Medical Center (Summit)
  • Penn-Princeton (Plainsboro)
  • Saint Clare’s (Denville)
  • Saint Michael’s (Newark)
  • St. Luke’s Warren (Phillipsburg)
  • St. Mary’s General (Passaic)
  • St. Peter’s University (New Brunswick)
  • RWJ Hamilton
  • RWJ Rahway
  • Valley (Ridgewood)
  • Virtua (Marlton)