Independent grading of hospitals allows you to know more about the safety of the hospital without bias. You can often look to these grades to tell you things about a facility that the facility may not make public or at least keep as quiet as possible, such as issues with patient safety. This makes deciding on which hospital to frequent easier.

According to Patch, Salem Hospital, which is part of the North Shore Medical Center in Salem, Massachusetts, received a C grade from the Leapfrog Group in its latest fall survey. Leapfrog is a nonprofit that releases grades in the fall and spring each year. The grades focus on safety, specifically rates of infections, errors, injuries and accidents. Leapfrog Group uses federal data and data from a survey the hospital fills out to create the grades. An expert panel decides on the scoring system. Grades run the traditional A to F scale.

Salem Hospital’s grade

The C grade is a result of low scoring in error prevention, overall safety and staffing. It did do well in infection control and surgery safety.

The hospital’s response

The hospital says the data used from the survey is old because it has not completed a survey in four years. In addition, it points to its recent 2019 HealthGrade Patient Safety Excellence Award, which recognizes the hospital for excelling at keeping patients safe from errors, infections and other preventable issues.

The hospital did not comment on the staffing issues, which contributed largely to the C grade. However, it did say it will participate in the spring survey of 2020, and that survey will be a better reflection of its safety standards currently.

Safety grades are important to you as a patient because you need to know the hospital takes the right precautions and care to stop preventable incidents. A score of C may not be the worst, but it would be a cause for concern, so hopefully, Salem Hospital will see a higher grade in the spring.