The grades are in.
Out of more than 2,500 general hospitals in the country that received safety ratings in a 2014 Hospital Safety Score program, four of them in the Greater Lehigh Valley landed at the top.
The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit employer-based coalition for patient safety advocacy, assigned the grades to 30 hospitals in eastern and central Pennsylvania, with four in the Greater Lehigh Valley earning the highest Hospital Safety Score of an "A," including Lehigh Valley Hospital, Cedar Crest; Lehigh Valley Hospital, Muhlenberg; St. Luke's Quakertown Hospital and Reading Hospital, with ratings based on the hospitals' rate of infections, injuries and errors.
"Every day, nationwide, more than 1,000 people die because of preventable hospital errors," said Thomas Croyle, president of Lehigh Valley Business Coalition of Healthcare. "A fact serving to highlight that those hospitals striving for excellence in patient safety truly deserve to be recognized."
The Leapfrog Group was founded in Washington, D.C. a decade ago by the nation's leading employers and private health care experts as a coalition to advocate for improved transparency, quality and safety in hospitals. The group developed the Hospital Safety Score program to grade hospitals on their overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors. The grades are derived from expert analysis of publicly available data using 28 evidence-based, national measures of hospital safety.
"Results like this are only achieved when a team works together to make patient safety a priority," said Ronald Swinfard, president and CEO of Lehigh Valley Health Network. "These 'A' scores for hospital safety are evidence of the passion, dedication, expertise and compassion demonstrated by all of my colleagues in caring for our community."