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Oregon hospitals get tepid ratings for patient safety

How does the safety of hospitals in Oregon stack up when compared to hospitals in other states? This can be a difficult question to answer. In recent decades, hospitals around the country have been studied, rated and ranked by any number of groups based on any number of criteria. This has made it hard to determine which information is relevant and which sources are authoritative.

Thankfully, some hospital rating systems are beginning to emerge as the go-to measures of quality and safety, including the "Hospital Safety Score," put out by a non-profit called the Leapfrog Group. In today's post, we'll discuss the HSS and how Oregon ranks nationally.

According to a Leapfrog Group website, the HSS uses 28 measures to determine a given hospital's record of patient safety and the steps it takes to prevent medical errors. Hospitals are assigned a letter grade, and states are then ranked by what percentage of their participating hospitals received "A" grades.

In Oregon, for instance, only 31 hospitals were graded (we have about twice that many overall). And because only nine of those 31 hospitals received A grades, that amounts to a 29 percent rate of A grades. Based on this percentage, Oregon was recently ranked 19th in the nation in terms of patient safety.

While this isn't terrible per se, it does leave significant room for improvement. Hopefully, hospitals throughout the state will examine their own opportunities to address patient safety concerns and improve their scores. We will also hopefully see a much higher rate of hospital participation.

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