Leapfrog survey: N.J. now ranks No. 3 overall among states

81% of state’s hospitals received ‘A’ or ‘B’ grade — up from 76% last fall

Eighty-one percent of the hospitals in New Jersey received an “A” or “B” grade in the latest Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, a jump from 76% (last fall) and good enough to rank third in the nation among individual states — up from 13th overall last fall.

For two hospitals, the accolades go even further.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton and Saint Michael’s Medical Center both jumped from a “C” to an “A” — a leap that is very unusual in the semiannual ranking.

Overall, the state had 30 “A” hospitals.

“The number of ‘A’ and ‘B’ hospitals highlights that we are, overall, doing well as a state,” Adelisa Perez-Hudgins, director of quality for the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, said. “The percentage speaks to the dedication of hospitals and health care teams that focus on patient safety and quality improvement.”

The rankings, released this week, are created by a national nonprofit representing hundreds of the nation’s most influential employers and purchasers of health care. The grades reflect preventable medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections that together kill more than 500 people a day in the U.S.

The Quality Institute is the regional leader in New Jersey and New York for Leapfrog.

“Consumers can and do use the Hospital Safety Grade to select the safest hospitals in their area,” Linda Schwimmer, CEO and president of the Quality Institute, said. “And we know that transparent reporting on patient safety drives improvements in quality, saving lives and reducing preventable injuries.”

Additional insight into the 67 New Jersey acute care hospitals that received a grade in the Spring 2024 Hospital Safety Grades showed:

  • Leapfrog assigns a grade to nearly 3,000 general hospitals across the country on how well they prevent medical errors, accidents and infections. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, patient experience nationwide has worsened. This spring survey shows the first sign of improvement with all measures related to patient experience significantly improving since fall 2023.
  • Additionally, since the fall of 2022, when hospital-acquired infection rates were at their highest, 92% of U.S. hospitals have improved performance on at least one of three dangerous preventable infections: central line-associated bloodstream infections; catheter-associated urinary tract infections; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Leapfrog said that, while the results are promising, patient safety remains a crisis-level hazard in health care. Citing peer-reviewed research published in BMJ, Leapfrog said an estimated 250,000 people a year die of preventable errors and infections in hospitals, which makes patient safety problems the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

“We’re grateful to every hospital that participates in the volunteer survey,” Schwimmer said. “They deserve our thanks and appreciation for striving to provide the safest and highest quality health care.”