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District of Columbia rates poorly on hospital safety review

When you head to the doctor or hospital, you want to know that you'll be well cared for. A delayed diagnosis or medication error could seriously hurt you, and if that happens, you may have a medical malpractice case. Knowing more about your situation and what your options are is always the first step to making sure you're compensated and cared for correctly.

Hospitals are currently making progress when it comes to patient safety, according to a May 6 report. Some nationally recognized institutions are named as poor performers, though, so you may want to check out who has made the list in Washington, D.C. According to the spring 2014 update to the Leapfrog Group's Hospital Safety Score, nearly a third of the 2,522 surveyed general hospitals have improved their performance by 10 percent or more since 2012.

According to the survey, 804 hospitals earned an "A" for performance, 668 earned a "B," 878 earned a "C," and 150 earned a "D." Twenty-two hospitals earned an "F," but what may be more telling is that there were five states where no hospital earned an "A" in the study. That included the District of Columbia, Idaho, Nebraska, Wyoming and Alaska.

There has been a 6.3 percent increase in overall performance since 2012, which is good news for patients. However, if you're in an area where a C-, D- or F-rated hospital is, you may be at a higher risk of medical errors. The ratings, which focus on patient safety, considers factors like processes, procedures, structural measures and outcome measures. Basically, the survey looks at how patients are accepted, given treatments and whether the hospital uses a computerized physician order entry system to prevent medication errors. It also considers what happens to a patient while receiving care.

Source: Medscape, "Hospitals Make Steady Progress in Patient Safety: Study" Mark Crane, May. 06, 2014

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