Hawaii hospitals rank 16th in safety report

The letter grades of three of Hawaii’s previously “A” ranked medical centers have dropped, causing the Aloha State’s national ranking for hospital safety to tumble considerably, according to a recent report.

According to the Fall 2022 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade rankings released this month, Hawaii is now ranked 16th in the nation in terms of its safety at its regional hospitals and medical centers, falling 10 places from its previous three-way tie at 6th with Idaho and Massachusetts earlier this year.

Hawaii also saw a large reduction in its safety’s numerical scoring in the Leapfrog study since May 2022, with a 16.7-point decrease to 33.3% of its hospitals receiving high marks from previously being at 50.0%.

Conducted bi-annually, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses an expert panel of physicians to evaluate the overall safety in 3,000 hospitals across the nation based on three metrics: process, structural and outcome measures. These metrics examine safety from staff responsiveness to the outcomes of patient care.

Hospitals that participate in the study are given an “A” through “F” ranking depending on the quality of their services. Detailed reports for each hospital also show the effectiveness of the institution’s ability to manage risks such as infections, surgery complications, harmful events for patients, practice errors, and adequate staffing.

Of the 12 Hawaii hospitals typically evaluated, four facilities received an “A” ranking during the Fall 2022 evaluation. Three others were awarded a “B”. Four were given a “C” and one received a “D” rank. There were no “F” rankings given in Hawaii.

Data released in the recent survey suggest that Hawaii’s decrease in its national ranking correlates with the letter grade drop of three regional hospitals that had previously received consistent “A” rankings since 2019. These include Straub Clinic & Hospital in Honolulu, which fell to a “C” rank in the fall 2022 evaluation, as well as Pali Momi Medical Center in Aiea and Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center in Honolulu, both of which dropped to a “B” rank.

Straub, Pali Momi and Kaiser Permanente Moanalua were not the only Hawaii hospitals to see a drop in their letter grades this evaluation period. According to Leapfrog’s study, Wilcox Memorial Medical Hospital went from a “B” rank to a “C”, while Kuakini Medical Center was given a “D” grade after receiving a “C” earlier this year.

While hospital scoring appears to be the major factor in the state’s overall decrease in national ranking, it was not the only one. Increases in eight other state’s rankings – New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, Pennsylvania, Florida, Washington, Texas and Tennessee – also affected Hawaii’s overall standing.

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