It’s a concerning statistic* that over 22,000 deaths in the U.S. each year are a result of preventable deaths during patient hospitalization. Medical error often involves factors such as poor management or monitoring of medical conditions, errors linked to surgery and other procedures, and diagnostic errors; and while healthcare workers are dedicated to their medical duties, these errors may also be related to factors such as short-staffing, system defects or error in judgement.
Duffy & Duffy, a medical malpractice law firm, used the ‘Hospital Safety Grade’**, along with state population data, to determine a state ranking from of where Americans have the best access to ‘Grade A’ level hospitals in terms of medical safety. The Safety Grade allocates a safety score (with A being the highest possible score, and F, the lowest) for hospitals in each state, which provides information on how likely patients are to experience injuries, accidents, harm, or error during hospitalization. Combined with state population figures, the data analysis compiled a ranking from 1 to 50, indicating which states have the greatest access to top grade healthcare.
It emerged that North Carolinians have among the best access to ‘Grade A’ hospitals in the country. The Tar Heel State emerged in 4th position overall, with a rate of 203,064 people per ‘Grade A’ hospital. North Carolina has a total of 89 hospitals in the state, of which a significant 59.8% (53 hospitals) scored ‘Grade A’ in terms of safety.
In 1st position is Mississippi, with the best access to safe healthcare – it has a rate of 192,308 people per ‘Grade A’ hospital. Mississippi has a total of 44 hospitals in the state, of which 35% (15 hospitals) had ‘Grade A’ safety scores.
Infographic showing state ranking of accessibility to ‘Grade A’ safety scoring hospitals
States with the greatest accessibility to ‘Grade A’ level hospitals:
1. Mississippi: 192,308 people per top-grade hospital.
2. Maine: 194,018 people per top-grade hospital.
3. Virginia: 199,885 people per top-grade hospital.
4. North Carolina: 203,064 people per top-grade hospital.
5. Pennsylvania: 206,652 people per top-grade hospital.
States with the lowest accessibility to ‘Grade A’ level hospitals:
46. Delaware: 997,621 people per top-grade hospital.
47. Iowa: 3,011,789 people per top-grade hospital.
48. North Dakota: no top-grade hospitals in state.
49. Wyoming: no top-grade hospitals in the state.
50. West Virginia: no top-grade hospitals in the state.