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How Safe Are Hospitals in Washington?

Hint: Less than half surveyed received an A grade.

Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in Fairfax received an A in hospital safety in a survey conducted by the Leapfrog Group. Photograph courtesy of Inova Hospitals.

We think of hospitals as the place we go to get better. But have you ever stopped to think if your local hospital is actually safe?

That’s what the Leapfrog Group decided to find out with its newest survey, which gave 2,618 hospitals across the nation a hospital safety score. The group based scores on measures such as “death from serious, treatable complications after surgery” and “foreign object retained after surgery.” Of the 16 local hospitals surveyed in Washington, only 5 of them received an A in safety.

According to Leapfrog, at least 180,000 people die every year from errors and infections that occur in American hospitals. “Consumers deserve A hospitals, and someday we may see all hospitals earning As,” said Leapfrog Group board chair Keith Reissaus in a statement. “However, we are not there yet.”

The safest hospitals in the country are found in Massachusetts and Maine, with 83 and 80 percent of those states’ hospitals receiving As in safety, respectively. On the other end, 121 US hospitals earned Ds, and 25 earned Fs.

These hospitals in DC and Virginia* received the following scores:

  • Sibley Memorial Hospital: A

  • Inova Alexandria Hospital: A

  • Inova Loudoun Hospital: A

  • Virginia Hospital Center of Arlington: A

  • Inova Fair Oaks Hospital: A

  • Inova Mount Vernon Hospital: B

  • Reston Hospital Center: B

  • Inova Fairfax Hospital: B

  • Prince William Hospital: B

  • George Washington University Hospital: C

  • Howard University Hospital: C

  • Georgetown University Hospital: C

  • Washington Hospital Center: C

  • Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center: C

  • Providence Hospital of Washington: D

  • United Medical Center: D

*Hospitals in Maryland were excluded from receiving a score, since they are exempt from public reporting. Pediatric hospitals were also excluded from the survey.

To view the full score of your local hospital, visit Hospital Safety Score’s website. A free mobile app is now available for download to advise users on the grades of local hospitals. 

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