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Ky. ranks 35th in nation for hospital safety

An empty hospital bed.
Creative Commons/Pixabay
The Leapfrog Group has ranked Kentucky 35th in the nation in hospital safety.

Recent ratings from the nonprofit organization The Leapfrog Group puts Kentucky in 35th place in the nation for hospital safety, a drop from 30th place last fall. 

The grades, which are released twice a year, are based on 30 metrics. They rank hospitals’ ability to protect patients against errors, accidents, injuries and infections that could have been prevented. 

Of the 59 hospitals ranked in Kentucky, only 11 received As in the spring report. Almost half received Cs, 14 got Bs and five got Ds. 

Norton Healthcare hospitals were among the best ranked, with its four Louisville-based adult hospitals receiving As – Norton Audubon Hospital, Norton Brownsboro Hospital, Norton Hospital and Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital.

It’s the sixth time in a row the four hospitals have received As. 

Pediatric-only hospitals are not ranked by The Leapfrog Group.

“The hard work of our dedicated providers and caregivers, who consistently deliver safe, high-quality care to our patients, and the essential support they receive from team members throughout the organization, is the reason each of our Louisville-based adult-service hospitals continue to receive an ‘A’ ranking,” Russell F. Cox, president and CEO at Norton Healthcare said in a statement. 

“I am incredibly proud of our team, who keeps the safety of our patients — and each other — at the center of all they do.”

University of Louisville Hospital, U of L Health Mary & Elizabeth Hospital and Jewish Hospital all received Cs. 

Arizona, Montana, Vermont and Maryland tied for 35th in the nation. 

In Southern Indiana, Baptist Health Floyd in New Albany received an A and Clark Memorial Health in Jeffersonville received a C. Indiana is in 29th place, an improvement since the fall. 

The new rankings were released alongside the second of a three-part Leapfrog report that found patients' experiences have declined nationwide since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This installment, which studied adult inpatient care, shows a correlation between worsening patient experiences and lowered hospital safety during the pandemic. 

The first report looked at outpatient surgical care. The third, on pediatric care, is expected to be released later this month. 

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.