See how your local hospital has scored in the latest safety rankings. NJ is the 6th safest in the US

There have been fewer errors, accidents and preventable infections in New Jersey hospitals this year, allowing the state to improve its national safety ranking from 12th in the spring to 6th this fall, according to the latest report from The Leapfrog Group.

The report, which comes as the intensity of the pandemic gradually eased, ranked 70 general acute care hospitals in New Jersey and 3,000 nationwide.

Grades don’t measure which hospital has the most respected doctors or successful treatment. Leapfrog focuses on which hospitals prevented harm, such as reducing the frequency of hospital-borne infections, and which hospitals avoided errors by using strategies such as consistent use of an electronic system to order and track prescriptions.

No New Jersey hospitals failed. But three D’s earned: CareWell Health Medical Center (formerly East Orange General Hospital); St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, Paterson; and St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center.

There were 33 hospitals that got an A, 20 hospitals that got a B and 14 hospitals with a C grade.

“During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed a worrying nationwide decline in patient safety measures as staffing and other challenges strained hospitals and health care systems, including hospitals in the New Jersey,” said Adelisa Perez-Hudgins, director of quality for the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, which publishes the statewide report on behalf of The Leapfrog Group.

“In New Jersey, this half of the year, we see improvements in the data. We have not returned to pre-pandemic quality, but we are heading in the right direction”.

The Hospital Safety Score was created by the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization made up of large employers and other health care buyers to improve safety in response to a 1999 Institute of Medicine report which found that every up to 98,000 people die each year from preventable errors in hospitals. Leapfrog released the first round of votes in 2012.

A decade later, there is evidence that patients are safer nationwide, said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. Patient injuries from accidentally falling and dropping an object, such as a sponge, inside a body after surgery decreased by 25 percent during this time, Binder said. There were also 22% fewer cases of MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and 43% fewer central line-associated bloodstream infections.

Binder also pointed to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that examined the medical records of 245,000 patients hospitalized for heart attack, heart disease, pneumonia, and major surgery and found “a significant decrease in adjusted rates of adverse events among 2012 and 2019.

“Never in history have we seen a general improvement in patient safety until this last decade, which coincides with the history of hospital safety,” said Binder.

“We salute hospitals on this milestone and encourage them to step up their hard work saving patients’ lives,” added Binder. “For a long time, the healthcare community has been trying to improve safety, but progress has stalled. The big difference from this decade is that for the first time we publicly reported each hospital’s patient safety results, and that galvanized the kind of change we’d all been hoping for. It’s not enough change, but we’re on the right track.”

Leapfrog encourages consumers to use ratings to help select a hospital. Hospital executives, aware of the competitive market, publicize their best grades in marketing campaigns.

Leaders at Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus said they have been dedicated to improving the facility’s grade after acquiring the former Meadowlands Hospital five years ago. Previous owners have not participated consistently and received low ratings when they did, said Dr. Nizar Kifaieh, the hospital’s president and chief executive officer.

Hudson earned an A in the most recent poll, up from a B in May.

“HRH has been committed since day one to providing the highest quality of care to our community. We have acquired cutting-edge technology combined with the best talent and personnel suppliers to achieve these goals,” Kifaieh said in a statement. “I am proud of our family of doctors, nurses, administrators, technicians and all HRH personnel who have demonstrated their commitment to improvement over the past five years and will continue to do so in the future.”

Saint Peters University Hospital also received top marks.

“It’s the collaborative effort of everyone involved, from our clinical and ancillary services teams who care for our patients to our support team who keep our facilities and equipment clean and safe for everyone else,” said Leslie D. Hirsch, president and CEO of San Pietro Sanitary System. “Working together, they ensure that we achieve the highest safety standards and that these standards are maintained in all operational areas of the hospital.”

The top ten states with the highest percentages of hospitals earning an A are New Hampshire, Virginia, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, New Jersey, North Carolina, Maine, Pennsylvania and Florida. At the other end of the spectrum, there were no hospitals in the District of Columbia, North Dakota or Vermont that scored top marks, according to the national Leapfrog report, which evaluated 3,000 hospitals.

Here’s how 70 New Jersey hospitals fared, in alphabetical order:

Atlanticare Regional Medical Center – City Campus Atlantic City: B

Atlanticare Regional Medical Center-Campus Terraferma, Pomona: B

Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, Paramus: A

Bayshore Medical Centre, Holmdel: A

Cape Regional Medical Center, Cape May Courthouse: B

Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell, Pennington: A

Capital Health Regional Medical Center, Trenton: B

CarePoint Health-Bayonne Medical Center, Bayonne: C

CarePoint Health-Christ Hospital, Jersey City: C

CarePoint Health-Hoboken University Medical Center: C

Carewell Health Medical Center (East Orange General Hospital), East Orange: D

CentraState Medical Center, Ownership: C

Chilton Medical Center, Pompton Plains: A

Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville: B

Community Medical Center, Toms River: B

Cooper University Hospital, Camden: B

Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston: C

Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood: A

Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack: A

Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Hackettstown: B

Holy Name Medical Center, Teaneck: C

Hudson Regional Hospital, Secaucus: A

Hunterdon Medical Centre, Flemington: A

Inspira Medical Center, Elmer: A

Inspira Medical Center, Mullica Hill: A

Inspira Medical Center Vineland: A

Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital: A

Jefferson Stratford Hospital: A

Jefferson Washington Township Hospital, Turnersville: A

Jersey City Medical Center: B

Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune: A

JFK University Medical Center, Edison: B

Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch: A

Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus, Lakewood: B

Morristown Medical Center, Morristown: A

Mountainside Medical Center, Montclair: C

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center: B

Newton Medical Center: B

Ocean University Medical Center, brick: B

Ponte Vecchio Medical Center: A

Overlook Medical Center, Summit: A

Pascack Valley Medical Center, Westwood: A

Palisades Medical Center, North Bergen: A

Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center, Plainsboro: A

Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy: A

Riverview Medical Center, Red Bank: A

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick: B

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital of Hamilton: A

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway A

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset, Somerville: B

Denville Saint Clare Hospital: A

Dover Saint Clare Hospital: C

St. Michael’s Medical Center, Newark: A

St. Peter’s University Hospital, New Brunswick: A

Salem Medical Center: B

Shore Medical Center, Somers Point: C

Southern Ocean Medical Center, Manahawkin: C

St. Francis Medical Center of Trenton: C

St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, Paterson: D

St. Joseph Wayne Medical Center: D

St. Luke’s Warren Campus, Phillipsburg: A

St. Mary’s General Hospital, Passaic: A

The Valley Hospital, Ridgewood: A

Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Elizabeth: C

University Hospital, Newark: C

Virtua Marlton Hospital: A

Virtua Memorial Hospital, Mount Holly: B

Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Camden: C

Virtua Voorhees Hospital: B

Virtua Willingboro Hospital: B

Find the full report on each hospital at HospitalSafetyGrade.org.

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Susan K. Livio can be reached at slivio@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @SusanKLivio.

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