Minnesota hospital safety grades released

(ABC 6 News) – Hospitals across Minnesota received top grades in protecting patient safety, despite the average risk of contracting deadly healthcare-associated infections remaining elevated after spiking to a 5-year high during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report.

The report was conducted by The Leapfrog Group, an independent nonprofit organization which strives for quality and safety of health care.

The Leapfrog Group uses a grading system to assign a letter grade to nearly 3,000 U.S. general hospitals. They use more than 30 measures to generate the grades including patient experience measures that have a direct impact on patient safety outcomes such as nurse communication, doctor communication, staff responsiveness, communication about medicine and discharge information. The group says nationally, the average of all five measures declined when compared to pre-pandemic numbers.

The group says their safety grade system is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on hospital prevention of medical errors and harms to patients.

Overall in Minnesota, 31.1% of hospitals received an A grade which ranks 16th nationally. There were 14 hospitals that received an A grade, 10 hospitals received a B grade, and 21 hospitals received a C grade. There were zero hospitals that received a D or F grade.

A Grade Hospitals

  • Essentia Health Saint Mary’s Medical Center – Duluth
  • Cambridge Medical Center – Cambridge
  • United Hospital – Saint Paul
  • Lake Region Healthcare – Fergus Falls
  • Methodist Hospital – St. Louis Park
  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital – Minneapolis
  • Lakeview Hospital – Stillwater
  • Owatonna Hospital – Owatonna
  • Buffalo Hospital – Buffalo
  • Mayo Clinic Hospital (Methodist Campus) – Rochester
  • Mayo Clinic Hospital (Saint Marys Campus) – Rochester
  • Mayo Clinic Health System – Mankato
  • Mayo Clinic Health System – Austin
  • Mayo Clinic Health System – Fairmont

B Grade Hospitals

  • Hennepin Healthcare – Minneapolis
  • Olmsted Medical Center – Rochester
  • Northfield Hospital – Northfield
  • Fairview Range – Hibbing
  • Ridgeview Medical Center – Waconia
  • M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital – Edina
  • Mercy Hospital – Coon Rapids
  • Mercy Hospital (Unity Campus) – Fridley
  • M Health Fairview Northland Medical Center – Princeton
  • M Health Fairview Ridges Hospital – Burnsville

C Grade Hospitals

  • North Memorial Health Hospital – Robbinsdale
  • Mayo Clinic Health System – Red Wing
  • Alomere Health – Alexandria
  • Winona Health – Winona
  • St. Luke’s Hospital – Duluth
  • Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital – Grand Rapids
  • CentraCare (St. Cloud Hospital) – St. Cloud
  • CentraCare (Rice Memorial Hospital) – Willmar
  • Sanford Bemidji Medical Center – Bemidji
  • Sanford Worthington Medical Center – Worthington
  • Essentia Health (Saint Joseph’s Medical Center) – Brainerd
  • Essentia Health St. Mary’s – Detroit Lakes
  • Essentia Health (Virginia Clinic) – Virginia
  • St. Francis Regional Medical Center – Shakopee
  • Regions Hospital – St. Paul
  • Hutchinson Health Hospital – Hutchinson
  • M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center (West Bank Hospital) – Minneapolis
  • M Health Fairview St. John’s Hospital – Maplewood
  • M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center – Wyoming
  • M Health Fairview Woodwinds Hospital – Woodbury
  • Maple Grove Hospital – Maple Grove

Despite the high grades, the group noted the average risk of contracting deadly healthcare-associated infections (HAI) remained elevated nationwide after spiking to a 5-year high during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three troublesome infections are Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI). The analysis found the standard infection ratio of all three increased when compared to rankings that covered the period immediately before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The spring 2023 rankings cover late 2021 and 2022.

“The dramatic spike in HAIs reported in this Safety Grade cycle should stop hospitals in their tracks—infections like these can be life or death for some patients,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We recognize the tremendous strain the pandemic put on hospitals and their workforce, but alarming findings like these indicate hospitals must recommit to patient safety and build more resilience.”

Although MRSA, CLABSI and CAUTI worsened, Clostridioides difficile (C. Diff) improved 15% from spring 2021 to spring 2023 and there was not a significant change for surgical site infections following surgery.

“Not only are HAIs among the leading causes of death in the U.S., they also increase length of hospitalization stays and add to costs,” Binder said. “Our pre-pandemic data showed improved HAI measures, but the spring 2023 Safety Grade data spotlights how hospital responses to the pandemic led to a decline in patient safety and HAI management.”

For more information on the report, CLICK HERE.