Which DC-area hospitals graded poorly on preventable medical errors?

Though national trends have improved, a new report says some of the D.C. region’s hospitals grade poorly when it comes to preventable medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections.

According to an assessment by the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit watchdog organization focused on patient safety, the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center in Upper Marlboro and Fauquier Hospital in Warrenton, Virginia, both received “D” grades for patient safety and avoiding preventable illnesses.

In the District, Howard University Hospital received an “F.”

Leapfrog said only 1% of the nearly 3,000 hospitals examined nationally received an “F” grade, while 6% received a “D” grade.

The group said overall performance on a national level has improved over the last decade, including when it comes to reducing “never events,” meaning medical accidents that should never happen.

“Two ‘never events’ that decreased by around 25% include incidents of falls and trauma, and incidents of objects unintentionally left in a body after surgery,” according to the report.

The group said that for “five of the outcome measures that can be tracked,” improved hospital safety measures have resulted in 16,000 fewer deaths over the last decade.

On the bright side for our area, Virginia ranks among the top 10 states with the highest percentage of “A” rated hospitals. On the other hand, the District currently has no “A” rated hospitals within its border, per Leapfrog Group’s findings.

WTOP’s John Aaron contributed to this report.

Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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