Hospital safety watchdog group rates Western Washington hospitals

A hospital safety watchdog group called Leapfrog has released its latest list of safest - and riskiest - hospitals in the United States.  Leapfrog measured things like preventable infections, patient satisfaction, and systems in place to prevent mistakes.  One example of those systems would be using a computer system to prevent medication prescription errors.

Leapfrog gave fifteen hospitals an "F" grade, but none of them are in Washington state.  Washington hospitals ranged from A-D.  Virginia Mason Medical Center, University of Washington Medical Center and Bellevue's Overlake Medical Center all received "A" grades.  Harborview Medical Center got a "B" and two hospitals - Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles and Deaconess Hospital in Spokane - got "D" grades.

You can read how the letter grade is calculated here.

Olympic Medical Center scored lower than average on staffing issues listed as "Specially trained doctors care for ICU patients," "Enough qualified nurses," and "Effective leadership to prevent errors."  Olympic also scored lower than average on handwashing, communication about medicines, and staff working together to prevent errors.  You can see the full report here.

If you would like to see how your hospital measures up, you can see the grades for every Washington hospital here.