Watchdog group lowers patient safety rating of Northwestern Memorial Hospital


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

Northwestern Memorial Hospital received a letter grade of B in patient safety from The Leapfrog Group.

Alan Perez, Editor in Chief

A nonprofit watchdog lowered its patient safety rating of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, reducing its letter grade to a B after it improved last spring.

The Leapfrog Group, a national organization that assesses patient safety at acute-care hospitals, said the hospital performed below average in areas like dangerous blood clots, communication about medicines and patient falls and injuries. It assigned hospitals letter grades from “A” to “F” in its Spring 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade.

“We appreciate the ongoing efforts by Leapfrog to improve the usefulness and accessibility of information for consumers,” Megan McCann, a Northwestern Medicine spokeswoman, said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing dialogue between health systems and Leapfrog to evolve these resources to give consumers the most accurate reflection of quality, safety, and the patient experience.”

Northwestern Memorial Hospital, a subsidiary of Northwestern Medicine, is the primary teaching affiliate for Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

The grades of other hospitals in Illinois dropped as well. The state dropped one spot to No. 14 this year. Northwestern Memorial’s grade had risen to an A last year after receiving a B in 2017 and a C in 2016.

The report also found the hospital performed below average in cases involving infections in the urinary tract, surgical wounds splitting open, staff-patient communication about discharge, dangerous bed sores and responsiveness of hospital staff.

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