Hospitals Safer for Patients in Last Decade

Safety improvements saved more than 16,000 lives over the 10-year period.

By HFT Staff
December 1, 2022

Measures implemented by U.S. hospitals to protect patients from preventable medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections show a consistent pattern of better performance in the last decade, according to a new report by patient safety watchdog group. For five of the outcome measures that can be tracked, these improvements saved an estimated more than 16,000 lives over the 10-year period.  

The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit watchdog organization that advances patient safety in hospitals, released the fall 2022 results. This release marks the 10th anniversary of the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, which assigns a letter grade to nearly 3,000 U.S. general hospitals based on how well they protect patients from preventable medical errors, accidents, injuries, and infections. 

An analysis by the group of data across the Hospital Safety Grade’s history suggests improvement in patient safety over time. Measures that have shown significant improvement over the decade include some so-called never events, meaning medical events that should never happen. Two never events that both decreased by around 25 percent include incidents of falls and trauma and incidents of objects unintentionally left in a body after surgery. 

There was also encouraging pre-pandemic progress on healthcare-associated infections, including: 

  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) decreased by 22 percent. 
  • Central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) decreased by 43 percent. 
  • Clostridioides difficile infection (C. Diff) decreased by 8 percent. 

Over the past decade, hospitals also demonstrated dramatic improvement in adoption of technology and staffing strategies that protect patients from preventable harm and death. These measures include a nearly seven-fold increase in the adoption of computerized provider order entry, which can reduce medication errors by more than 40 percent. Hospitals also improved their strategies to improve engagement of the nursing workforce and overall safety culture. 

See the latest posts on our homepage Share

Topic Area: Safety

Recent Posts
Recent Posts

California Funds Security for Reproductive Health Facilities

Grants will fund physical and digital security enhancements at healthcare facilities and practitioner offices that might be the target of violence and vandalism.


Methodist Hospital Emergency Department Doubles in Size

The three-year project saw the renovation and expansion of the Methodist Hospital Emergency Department completed.


UCLA Health Alerts Patients of Compromised Data

An analytics tool may have captured and transmitted health data to the third-party service providers.


Healthcare Facilities Embrace Modular Construction

Healthcare facilities have leaned on modular construction for quick builds with less waste.


UPMC Western Behavioral Health Opens New Facility to Increase Community Access

The new facility will expand UPMC’s behavioral health services.



News & Updates • Webcast Alerts • Building Technologies

All fields are required.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

You Might Like