How a Patient Advocate Can Help Patients Understand Hospital Grades

Hospital Grades

We’re all familiar with “grades”. We’ve been graded from the time we start schooling throughout our career endeavors. One area that you may not be familiar with is the grading of hospitals. Yes, even hospitals are under the scrutiny of a grading system. Although you may not be aware of this grading system, we as patient advocates monitor this closely. Do you know the grade of your local hospital?

Leap Frog Hospital Safety Grade

The “Leap Frog Hospital Safety Grade” is a hospital rating system focused primarily on hospital safety (https://www.hospitalsafetygrade.org). This safety grade provides patients with important information on how likely they are to experience accidents, injuries, errors or harms while in the hospital. This score is utilized by many national and regional health insurance plans to inform their users on the importance of choosing a safer hospital. As patient advocates this is an important piece of information that we give our clients when they are choosing hospitals for care. Would this be important to you?

What Does the Leap Frog Group Measure?

It measures infection rates, including central line associated bloodstream infections, catheter associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections for colon surgery, MRSA (methicillin resistant staph aureus) infection, C. Diff (Clostridium Difficile, a colon bacterial infection), falls and trauma as well as very serious pressure ulcers. Preventable complications from surgery such as foreign objects, accidental punctures and lacerations are also monitored. It takes into consideration strong nursing leadership and engagement, computerized physician order entry systems to prevent medication errors, safe administration of medications, hand hygiene and the competence of ICU (intensive care unit) staff. All of these subjects are very important to a positive patient outcome. Patient Advocates will help you understand why these measures are important to your hospital stay and outcome. Would you want to know this information?

Are You At Risk?

You are at risk of being affected by some or all of these measures when you are admitted to a hospital. Understanding these measures can be very overwhelming and take up a lot of your time to research. A patient advocate will be your guide in this overwhelming volume of information. A patient advocate on your side could be the difference in a favorable outcome or a disastrous experience in a hospital. We understand the grades and what they mean to your individualized plan of care. We at Whitley Patient Advocates strive for you to have access to the most up to date information so that you can receive the best care at the best facility possible. Would you hire a patient advocate?

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