State ranking reveals Americans’ accessibility to safe, grade ‘A’ score hospitals.

It’s a concerning statistic1 that over 22,000 deaths in the U.S. each year are a result of preventable deaths during patient hospitalization. 

Medical error often involves factors such as poor management or monitoring of medical conditions, errors linked to surgery and other procedures, and diagnostic errors; and while healthcare workers are dedicated to their medical duties, these errors may also be related to factors such as short-staffing, system defects or error in judgment.

Duffy & Duffy, a medical malpractice law firm, used the ‘Hospital Safety Grade’2, along with state population data, to determine a state ranking of where Americans have the best access to ‘Grade A’ level hospitals in terms of medical safety. 

Hospital Safety Grading System

The Safety Grade allocates a safety score (with A being the highest possible score, and F, the lowest) for hospitals in each state, providing information on how likely patients are to experience injuries, accidents, harm, or error during hospitalization. 

Combined with state population figures, the data analysis compiled a ranking from 1 to 50, indicating which states have the greatest access to top grade healthcare.

1st Place

In 1st position, the state with the best access to safe healthcare was Mississippi, with a rate of 192,308 people per ‘Grade A’ hospital. Mississippi has a total of 44 hospitals in the state, of which 35% (15 hospitals) had ‘Grade A’ safety scores.

2nd Place

Maine emerged in 2nd position in terms of access to high grade healthcare, with a rate of 194,018 people per ‘Grade A’ hospital. Maine has a total of 16 hospitals in the state, of which a significant 43.8% (7 hospitals) were scored ‘Grade A’ in terms of safety.

3rd Place

In 3rd position in the ranking of ‘Grade A’ healthcare accessibility was Virginia, with a rate of 199,885 people per top safety grade hospital. As a state, Virginia has a total of 73 hospitals, of which more than half (59.2%) – or 43 hospitals, to be exact – scored ‘Grade A’ in terms of safety.

States with the greatest accessibility to ‘Grade A’ level hospitals:

  1.     Mississippi: 192,308 people per top-grade hospital.
  2.     Maine: 194,018 people per top-grade hospital.
  3.     Virginia: 199,885 people per top-grade hospital.
  4.     North Carolina: 203,064 people per top-grade hospital.
  5.     Pennsylvania: 206,652 people per top-grade hospital.

 States with the lowest accessibility to ‘Grade A’ level hospitals:

  1. Delaware: 997,621 people per top-grade hospital.
  2. Iowa: 3,011,789 people per top-grade hospital.
  3. North Dakota: no top-grade hospitals in the state.
  4. Wyoming: no top-grade hospitals in the state.
  5. West Virginia: no top-grade hospitals in the state.

 

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‘Medical emergencies can occur at any time and are often unpredictable in nature. As a patient, you would naturally want to ensure that you (or your loved ones) are in the best care possible, with the least risk to your health in terms of preventable harm or injury,’ says a spokesperson for Duffy & Duffy.

1 https://news.yale.edu/2020/01/28/estimates-preventable-hospital-deaths-are-too-high-new-study-shows

2 https://www.leapfroggroup.org/data-users/leapfrog-hospital-safety-grade