New Mexico plummets in latest national hospital safety ranking

Leapfrog Group recently released its hospital rankings and New Mexico has plummeted from 18th to 42nd place.

Medical errors are estimated to be the third-leading cause of death in the United States, according to Consumer Affairs. That is why hospital safety is such an important issue and why many people look to hospital safety grades when determining where they are likeliest to receive the best care. Perhaps the best known hospital safety ranking is the one produced by Leapfrog Group, which gives letter grades ranging from F to A to more than 2,600 hospitals across the country and ranks each state according to their share of A-graded hospitals. Unfortunately, the latest report from Leapfrog shows that New Mexico's hospitals are falling far behind the national average.

Hospital safety falls in New Mexico

Nationwide, the Leapfrog report contained some good news. Close to a third of all hospitals graded received an A, while about a quarter received a B grade. Only six percent of hospitals across the country received a D grade and only one percent received an F, which indicates serious problems with infections, patient harm, and medical errors.

The report also ranked each state by the percentage of their hospitals that received A grades. New Jersey topped the rankings, with 56.72 percent of its hospitals receiving A grades, up from 33.85 percent in the Spring 2018 report. Oregon, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Texas rounded out the top five.

New Mexico, unfortunately, did particularly poorly in the rankings. Only 14.29 percent of its hospitals received an A grade, which put it in 42nd place nationally for hospital safety. That's also a dramatic fall from its 18 th spot in Spring 2018 when 33.33 percent of New Mexico hospitals received an A grade. Furthermore, New Mexico is one of only 10 states to have a hospital receive an F grade. The other states that had at least one hospital receive an F grade were California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, New Jersey, and South Carolina. Only two hospitals in New Mexico received A grades.

Medical errors in hospitals

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade claims to be the only hospital safety ranking that focuses exclusively on errors, infections, accidents, and injuries to patients. Hospitals are graded on such measures as falls, hand washing requirements, infection rates, and medication errors. The rankings are updated every six months and are peer reviewed.

Medical malpractice

Unfortunately, as the above report shows, hospitals in New Mexico are not getting any safer. That fact put patients in harm's way and can result in patients suffering serious injuries and illnesses. Anybody who may have been hurt by a medical professional's possible negligence should get in touch with a medical malpractice attorney immediately. Medical malpractice cases are highly complex and pursuing them requires the knowledgeable counsel of an attorney who is well versed in how such cases are typically handled.