A newly released report with safety grade ratings for hospitals in the country scored three out of five reviewed Lake County hospitals with a “C” grade, while others got an “A” grade.
The Leapfrog Group, a national watchdog organization, released its fall 2023 hospital safety grade results on Monday.
The organization assigns a letter grade to nearly 3,000 U.S. general hospitals based on over 30 measures of patient safety, like how well patients are protected from preventable medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections.
The new grades are the first to reflect hospital performance post-pandemic.
The average risk of three healthcare-associated infections, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), spiked to a five-year high in hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the organization.
That risk factor has since been significantly reduced nationwide.
The safety grades also showed a continued decline in patient experience measures, which are reported by patients and correlated with patient outcomes, the organization said in a statement.
“Now that we have pre- and post-pandemic data for patient safety measures, we are encouraged by the improvement in infections and applaud hospitals for reversing the disturbing infection spike we saw during the pandemic,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group.
“However, there’s still more work to be done. It’s deeply concerning that patient reports about their health care experience continues to decline,” Binder said.
In Lake County, “C” grades were given to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan and Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington.
Those are the same scores the three hospitals received in the spring 2023 report.
The report said Vista East performs worse than average compared to other hospitals in the country when it comes to communication with patients and leadership among the staff.
The grade for Vista Medical Center East is an improvement as the hospital had previously received “F” and “D” grades in 2022 reports.
Northwestern Medicine Hospital in Lake Forest received an “A” grade for the second time in a row. It previously scored a “C” rating in 2022.
NorthShore University HealthSystem in Highland Park received an “A” grade. It previously scored “B” grades in 2022.
In McHenry County, both Northwestern Medicine Hospital in McHenry and Northwestern Medicine Hospital in Huntley received an “A,” a grade they have consistently held.