Safety grades vary at three local hospitals | Health-care

URBANA — It’s not just the disease or the injury you already have that can kill you after you check into a hospital.

About 250,000 people die every year from preventable errors made by hospitals, but some hospitals are safer than others, according to The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit watchdog organization that has released new safety grades for nearly 3,000 hospitals in the U.S.

Among them were Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, one of 33 Illinois hospitals to get a top safety grade of “A”; OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center in Danville, which received a “B”; and OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center in Urbana, which got a “C.”

The grades are based on more than 30 measures of public safety focusing on hospitals’ ability to protect patients from preventable harm such as infections, falls and problems with surgeries.

In releasing the most recent grades this week, The Leapfrog Group said some updated data reflects a COVID-19 pandemic time frame and demonstrates worsening patient care due to strains on the health care system and workforce.

Some details on staffing in the Leapfrog report included both area OSF hospitals being ranked below average for having specially trained doctors to care for patients in intensive care and for having enough qualified nurses.

And while Carle ranked above average for having specially trained doctors, it declined to report information on having enough qualified nurses, according to Leapfrog.

Officials at all three hospitals were unavailable Thursday to answer questions about their safety grades, but Carle Vice President of Quality Lakita Scott said in an email that Carle is proud to be among the safest hospitals in the country.

“We create processes and use evidence-based best practices to enable a clinical setting that improves outcomes for patients and the experience of our team and community,” she said. “Our focus is on meeting the level of quality standards that improve patient outcomes.”

OSF Heart of Mary spokesman Tim Ditman said OSF supports transparency about quality and safety information and is committed to finding ways to improve safety and quality of care.

“We are making great progress but know there is still work to be done,” he said.

OSF Sacred Heart officials said the Danville hospital’s grade places it among the safest hospitals in the country.

“We are pleased, but not surprised, at these high ratings,” Sacred Heart President Ned Hill said.