National hospital rating group sounds alarm on many facilities

"The surgeon and operating room team shouldn't be leaving sponges or surgical tools in you."

Do you agree with that statement?

We knew you would.

So does Leah Binder. She recently uttered it.

Binder is a nationally known medical reformer, activist and commentator. She is the founder of a nonprofit organization that many of our readers in Tucson and across Arizona are perhaps familiar with.

Binder's Leapfrog Group is an entity both reviled and venerated in the health care industry. Top-tier hospitals and medical staffs often applaud Leapfrog's reform initiatives, while medical actors spotlighted for error and malpractice are obviously not too enamored with it.

The latter demographic recently had cause to wince from Leapfrog references aimed its way via the group's occasionally issued report card assessing the health and safety of hospitals nationwide.

The rating system works just like the one you had in school. You get an "A" score by truly excelling. Perform horribly and, well, there's that "F."

Obviously, no American hospital wants to receive a failing grade, but Leapfrog doesn't care much about that. Binder and her group think it is vitally important that a strong public light shine on both top facility performers and underachievers.

The reason why it clear: When hospitals have comparatively high rates of malpractice incidents (surgical errors, misdiagnoses, medication mistakes, facility-acquired infections and so forth), people become seriously ill or die. Such errors are often always preventable and come about only because of negligence, and Leapfrog thinks that consumers should know about that.

Thus, the report card. Notably (and distressingly), Leapfrog gave "failing or near-failing" letter scores to a whopping 168 hospitals nationally in its most recent assessment.

Every patient in Arizona and across the country has a right to receive competent care when examined and treated by medical professionals. Failure to deliver that threshold of care can yield catastrophic and even deadly consequences for individuals and family members.

When that occurs, victims might reasonably want to secure timely and on-point assistance from an experienced pro-victims' malpractice attorney. Proven advocacy can help to secure a meaningful recovery marked by maximum compensation.

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