Georgia Hospital Safety Still Improving Despite Drop in Ranking

Atlanta, Georgia—November 7, 2019 – The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit aiming to improve health care quality for consumers, employers and purchasers, announced today the fall 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades. Georgia ranks 34th in the nation for hospital safety, down from 15th this past spring. The independent grading system assigns “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” and “F” letter grades to general acute-care hospitals in the U.S. based on their ability to protect patients from avoidable errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

In Georgia, 74 hospitals were graded, and 19 earned an “A,” 27 earned a “B,” 24 earned a “C,” 4 earned a “D” and none earned an “F.” The following hospitals in the metro Atlanta area received an “A”: Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital, Piedmont Hospital, Piedmont Fayette Hospital, Piedmont Newton Hospital, Piedmont Newnan Hospital, Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, Northside Hospital Forsyth, Wellstar Douglas Hospital, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, and Wellstar Paulding Hospital.

“While we are disappointed that Georgia dropped in the national ranking, that change speaks more to the higher number of hospitals participating in other states compared to Georgia. We are pleased to see that participation in Georgia remained consistent from this past spring. A higher percentage of Georgia’s hospitals that were graded earned an A or B grade this fall compared to last spring. These results show that Georgia is still making significant strides in hospital safety,” said Berneta Haynes, Senior Director of Policy and Access at Georgia Watch. “Part of our job as a Leapfrog Regional Leader is to encourage hospitals in our region and state to always strive for improved patient safety. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades offer crucial information to help Georgia consumers make informed decisions about their health care. We appreciate the hospitals that voluntarily participate in the survey and thank them for setting an example for the entire state. We encourage other hospitals to participate and make patient safety a top priority.”

The release of this fall’s Hospital Safety Grades coincides with the twentieth anniversary of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM)[i] groundbreaking report, To Err Is Human, which revealed nearly 100,000 lives are lost every year due to preventable medical errors. Subsequent reports estimate that number may be twice as high.

“Twenty years after To Err Is Human, we are still devastated by tens of thousands of needless deaths every year from medical errors,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We are seeing progress, with 45,000 fewer deaths from the hazards included in the Safety Grade. Still, much more needs to be done. Transparency is the first step.”

Binder cited an analysis earlier this year by the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality that found 45,000 fewer deaths than a 2016 analysis, based on the prevalence of safety problems in hospitals graded by The Leapfrog Group.

Developed under the guidance of a National Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.

For more information about the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, as well as individual grades and state rankings, please visit and follow The Leapfrog Group on Facebook and Twitter. Journalists interested in scheduling interviews should email


About Georgia Watch

Founded in 2002, Georgia Watch is a statewide consumer advocacy organization working to educate and protect Georgia consumers on matters that impact their quality of life, particularly the effects of predatory business practices, the high cost of utilities and healthcare, and restricted access to the civil justice system.

About The Leapfrog Group

Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

[i] The Institute of Medicine was renamed to the National Academy of Medicine, effective July 1, 2015.

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