In a recent report of the grades given by patients to hospitals all over the country for safety, there was some bad news for New Jersey. However, our hospitals still fared better than those in most states.
New Jersey went from having the greatest percentage of hospitals with “A” grades in the nation to 13th. That’s six hospitals throughout the state that got the top grade. The non-profit organization The Leapfrog Group, which reported these findings defines patient safety as “how hospitals and other health care organizations protect their patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.“
Over three-quarters of New Jersey hospitals still got either an A or B. Nationally, just over half of hospitals got those grades. No New Jersey hospitals received a D or F.
Infections are down, but so is the number of nurses
After a rise in healthcare-acquired conditions like staph, urinary tract and bloodstream infections in recent years, those have dropped. Staffing shortages, especially among nurses, however, remain a serious concern. It’s estimated that almost a third of nurses have left hospital jobs in the past three years. Strikes among nurses and other hospital employees in New Jersey and other parts of the country have no doubt increased the risk to patients caused by understaffing.
While this is just one measurement of hospital safety, the only one that matters to you is your experience. New Jersey has many fine hospitals and experienced medical professionals working in them. However, that doesn’t mean that negligence and errors don’t occur.
It can be hard to determine whether a bad outcome was preventable or not. If you believe that you or a loved one suffered harm due to malpractice by a doctor or other medical professional or by lapses that a hospital or other facility could and should have prevented, it’s wise to get legal guidance as soon as possible.