By Shereen Siewert

Four Wisconsin hospitals, including two in northern Wisconsin, earned “D” safety grades in an annual nationwide study released this week by the nonprofit Leapfrog Group.

The annual Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is a public service provided by The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization “committed to driving quality, safety, and transparency in the U.S. health system,” according to the group’s website.

The study issued a “B” grade to Aspirus Wausau Hospital, an improvement from the spring 2019 “C” grade assigned.

Ascension Saint Clare’s Hospital in Weston and Marshfield Medical Center each received “C” grades in the latest report. Learn more about each local hospital’s ratings here.

Grades rely on a number of factors including infections, problems with surgery, practices to prevent errors, safety problems, and staffing. Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades (formerly known as Hospital Safety Scores) are assigned to over 2,600 general acute-care hospitals across the nation twice annually.

The following hospitals received “D” grades in the report:

Ascension All Saints Hospital – Spring Street Campus
3801 Spring St., Racine
View the full Score

Ascension St. Francis Hospital
3237 South 16th St., Milwaukee
View the full Score

Ascension St. Mary’s Hospital
2251 North Shore Dr., Rhinelander
View the full Score

Howard Young Medical Center
240 Maple St., Woodruff
View the full Score

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses national performance measures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Leapfrog Hospital Survey and other supplemental data sources.

Taken together, those performance measures produce a single letter grade representing a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors. The Safety Grade includes 28 measures, all currently in use by national measurement and reporting programs. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade methodology has been peer reviewed and published in the Journal of Patient Safety.

Leapfrog works under the guidance of an expert panel to select appropriate measures and develop a scoring methodology. The Expert Panel is made up of patient safety experts from across the country:

  • David Bates, M.D., Harvard University
  • Andrew Bindman, M.D., University of California, San Francisco
  • Jennifer Daley, M.D., F.A.C.P.
  • Matthew D McHugh, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H., R.N., C.R.N.P., F.A.A.N., University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
  • Arnold Milstein, M.D., M.P.H., Stanford University
  • Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., F.C.C.M., University Hospitals
  • Patrick Romano, M.D., M.P.H., University of California, Davis
  • Sara Singer, Ph.D., Stanford University
  • Arjun Srinivasan, M.D., CAPT U.S. Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Tim Vogus, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Military or VA hospitals, critical access hospitals, specialty hospitals, children’s hospitals and outpatient surgery centers are not rated at this time.

Search the full database here.