Virginia ranks first in nation for hospital patient safety


Nicole Pasia


Virginia came out as the top state for hospital patient safety according to the Fall 2021 Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Grade state rankings. The ranking assessed over 2,700 general acute care hospitals nationwide. The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) noted in a recent release that Virginia has maintained a high ranking on the report over the last three years. Overall, 41 of 73 Virginia hospitals received an “A” grade from the rankings. 


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The Leapfrog Group, a health system nonprofit that conducted the rankings, defines patient safety as “how hospitals and other health care organizations protect their patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.” This includes measures that reduce infection rates, prevent mistakes during medical procedures, and strong lines of communication between hospital staff, patients, and families. 

Virginia had the highest percentage of hospitals with an “A” grade—56.2%. In the median state, South Carolina, 29.4% of hospitals had an “A” grade. Delaware, North Dakota, and Washington, D.C. all tied for last place with zero hospitals with an “A” grade.

Virginia’s top-rated hospitals for patient safety include the University of Virginia, Bon Secours, Inova, and Sentara health systems. Four hospitals—Inova Loudoun Hospital, Sentara CarePlex Hospital, Sentara Leigh Hospital, and Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center, have  earned “A” grades every year since 2021. 

VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton noted Virginia’s achievements reflected in this fall’s rankings: 

“Virginia hospitals are committed to the wellbeing of patients, which is reflected in Virginia’s consistently strong performance in the Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Grades. These scores are a testament to the ongoing collaborative work by Virginia’s hospitals to intentionally focus on patient safety and health care quality improvement as part of a broader goal to make the Commonwealth the healthiest state in the nation.”

The Leapfrog Group releases patient safety rankings every spring and fall. Virginia’s rank increased from sixth in fall 2020 and has remained in the top five states every ranking since spring 2018.