When you’re considering where you want to work as a nurse, safety should definitely be a consideration. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is a great resource when it comes to finding a safe place to work. The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit healthcare watchdog organization, issues an annual report on hospital safety grades. These reports are used to help patients find a safe hospital near them. Still, it is also a valuable resource for nurses to see how safe a hospital is before working there.
The safety Leapfrog ratings are updated twice a year, every spring and every fall. The grade comprises up to 22 evidence-based practice measures of patient safety. Each has a numeric score calculated in the performance of how hospitals protect patients from harm and errors. While it is not required for hospitals to participate in submitting all data, it is encouraged.
How They Chose the List of the Safest Hospitals for Nurses
The hospital safety grade is a grading system on how safe they are for patients. They grade based on an A, B, C, D, and F scale. The grade is determined based on several factors, including,
Practice errors, and staff, including doctors and nurses.
All but 2 states (Vermont and North Dakota) have received an A rating in at least one hospital, and several states have multiple hospitals with A ratings.
Each measure is based on a below-average, average, or above-average scale with numerical ratings. Infections measures look at MRSA infection rates, C. Diff infection rates, blood infection rates, urinary tract infection rates, surgical site infections with col surgery, and sepsis infection after surgery.
Surgical problem measures review,
Objects left in the patient
Surgical wounds splitting open (dehiscing)
Death from treatable complications
Blood vessel injury
Kidney injury post-operatively
Accidental cuts or tears
Safety issues review measures on harmful events, dangerous bedsores, falls and injuries to patients, falls that cause a broken hip, Pneumothorax after a procedure, blood clot development, and air or gas bubbles in the blood.
Practice errors measured in the survey include,
Doctors ordering medication through a computer
Administering safe medication
Hand washing practice
Communicating with patients about medication and discharge
Staff working together to prevent errors
Lastly, the hospital safety grading survey measures all staff, including doctors and nurses. This measure includes how leadership helps prevent errors, having qualified nurses, and having specially trained doctors and staff to care for ICU patients. This final measure also records the communication between doctors and patients, nurses and patients, and the responsiveness of hospital staff.
When choosing a hospital to work for, it is important to consider its safety rating. The Leapfrog Group rates hospitals based on their ability to prevent errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. By looking at a hospital’s Leapfrog score, you can get a sense of how safe it is for nurses to work there.
Hospitals that receive an “A” score are the safest places for nurses to work, while those that receive a “D” or “F” score pose a greater risk to nurse safety. When searching for a new job, be sure to check the Leapfrog scores of potential employers so that you can make an informed decision about which hospital is the best fit for you.