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New watchdog organization report ranks majority of Kentucky’s hospitals as average for patient safety

By Nadia Ramlagan
Public News Service

A new report ranks most Kentucky hospitals average for patient safety.

Published by the watchdog organization Leapfrog, the report ranks hospitals by letter grade.

An estimated 160,000 lives are lost every year from preventable medical errors in hospitals. (Photo from Adobe Stock, via PNS)

Out of 52 hospitals, 25 received a C grade for the incidence of infections, problems with surgery and other criteria.

Methodist Hospital in Henderson County was one of only nine hospitals nationwide that received a failing grade.

Leah Binder, president of The Leapfrog Group, says about 500 people die every day in the U.S. from preventable medical errors in hospitals.

“Well, Kentucky ranks 33rd in the country among states on the percentage of your hospitals that have an A,” she states. “But, you know, when your family’s life is at stake and you’re worried about small errors that can happen in a hospital that can have terrible consequences, I don’t think middle-of-the-pack is where we all want to be.”

The report rates more than 2,000 hospitals across the U.S.

Binder points out that access to safe medical care should not depend on income or health status.

“We’re looking for things like accidents, like giving a patient the wrong medication, or leaving a sponge in after surgery,” she explains. “Those kinds of accidents and mistakes – those things should never happen to patients no matter how sick the patient is, or how rich or poor the patient is.”

Researchers also found that when compared to A graded hospitals, patients at C graded hospitals on average face an 88% greater risk of avoidable death, while patients at D and F graded hospitals face a 92% greater risk.

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