Leapfrog awards University of Chicago Medical Center 21st consecutive ‘A’ for hospital safety

Independent national watchdog The Leapfrog Group has awarded the University of Chicago Medical Center its 21st “A” grade in hospital safety, making it one of only 22 health providers in the U.S. to have maintained the top score over the past 10 years.

The number of hospitals earning Leapfrog’s top Hospital Safety Grade has dropped in every grading period since the twice-a-year survey began in June 2012. Five years ago, 63 hospitals nationwide earned continuous top marks. Two years ago, that number stood at 32; a year ago, it was 27.

“Time and time again, our caregivers and support staff have shown their commitment to caring for our patients and their families,” said Tom Jackiewicz, President of UCMC, which serves as the hub of the UChicago Medicine health system. “This designation represents contributions from each individual who makes our hospital environment as safe as possible for every patient who comes through our doors.”

Meanwhile, UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial received a B in Leapfrog’s spring 2022 survey, the same grade as in the previous survey period. The back-to-back B’s follow two and a half years of C’s for the Harvey-based hospital, which is part of the UChicago Medicine health system.

“Our teams are committed to providing top-quality, patient-centered care in the safest environment possible,” said Randy Neiswonger, President of UChicago Medicine Ingalls. “While we are pleased we maintained our B score, we will not stop at improving our safety metrics for our patients and community.”

In assigning a letter grade, The Leapfrog Group surveyed roughly 3,000 acute-care facilities and used more than 30 measures of safety data including rates of preventable errors, injuries and infections. The survey also looked at whether hospitals have systems in place to protect patients from harm. The grading system is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are available to the public for free. Grades are updated twice annually, in the fall and spring.

“This record reflects the dedication and hard work of everyone within our health system, as we strive to provide the safest care possible, while finding new ways to improve best practices,” said Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, Dean and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Chicago. “This achievement is especially rewarding given the pandemic-related challenges that the healthcare industry has been managing for more than two years.”

The Leapfrog Group recognized hospitals for their efforts, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has presented institutions with extra challenges in keeping patients and their families safe.

“Straight A’s for 10 years is an incredibly difficult distinction to achieve, and one of which this community should be tremendously proud. UChicago Medicine has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to protecting patients from preventable harm,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “As our nation’s healthcare system continues to feel the strain of the pandemic, I thank the workforce and leadership of UChicago Medicine for sustained commitment to patient safety, day in and day out.”

For more information about UChicago Medicine’s ratings or about The Leapfrog Group, visit HospitalSafetyGrade.org.