Report: 3 Metro Detroit hospitals get As, 1 gets a D

Karen Bouffard
The Detroit News

Three Metro Detroit hospitals received A grades in a report released Monday by The Leapfrog Group, an organization that advocates across the country for transparency in hospital quality.

Garden City Hospital, Huron Valley Sinai Hospital in Commerce Township and University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers got top grades.

Eight others received B grades in the report, which looks at infection rates, problems with surgeries, prevention of errors, safety issues, and doctors, nurses and staff.

“It is time for every hospital in America to put patient safety at the top of their priority list, because tens of thousands of lives are stake,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, in a statement. “The Hospital Safety Score alerts consumers to the dangers, but as this analysis shows, even A hospitals are not perfectly safe.”

Just one local hospital, McLaren Macomb Hospital in Mount Clemens, got less than an average grade, scoring a D in the report.

The hospital released a statement saying that it applauds “Leapfrog’s efforts to participate in the ongoing improvement of health care” in the U.S., but said the group changed its methodology since last spring, when McLaren Macomb scored an A on the report, removing a number of measures on which the hospital has historically scored well.

The hospital also mentioned the “proliferation” of organizations that issue reports on hospital quality, each using its own standards of measurement.

“As a result, a hospital may perform well on one report card and poorly on another,” the hospital noted. “Patients should use all available tools at their disposal such as talking with friends and family and consulting with doctors, nurses and other health care providers.”

Only acute care hospitals were graded, so specialty hospitals such as DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan and DMC Heart Hospital are not included.

Hospitals that received B grades include Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital; Beaumont Dearborn Hospital, Beaumont Taylor Hospital and Beaumont Trenton Hospital; McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac; and St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia. The remaining 17 Metro Detroit acute care hospitals received grades of C.

Coinciding with Monday’s report, Leapfrog worked with the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine on a study estimating the number of avoidable deaths at hospitals in each grade level.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins estimate that the risk of dying from problems associated with avoidable infections, mistakes or accidents is 9 percent higher for patients treated at hospitals with B grades. The estimates point to a 35 percent greater risk at hospitals with C grades, and 50 percent higher risk hospital with grades of D.

Across the nation, about 31 percent of the 2,571 hospitals that received a safety score received an A, 25 percent a B, 37 percent a C and 6 percent a D (162). Fifteen hospitals, or 1 percent, earned an F.