Eleven Mississippi hospitals have received an “A” safety score from nonprofit The Leapfrog Group, while the state’s largest hospital received a “C” for the fifth year in a row.

The group hands out the biannual grades to about 3,000 general acute-care hospitals nationwide based on how they protect patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections. Hospitals’ performances on more than 30 national metrics from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey and other data determine each health care organization’s score. 

No Mississippi Hospitals scored an “F,” but Merit Health Biloxi scored a “D,” the same it received in December. The grade is dictated by a hospital’s performance in infections, problems with surgery, safety problems, practices to prevent errors, and doctors, nurses and hospital staff.

Merit Health Biloxi, for example, scored worse than average compared to other hospitals in the rate of infections developed among patients, such as sepsis after surgeries.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center, the state’s only academic medical center, scored a “C.” The report highlights that UMMC has worse than average performance compared to other hospitals in deaths from surgical complications, split-open surgical wounds, blood infections, and patient falls. The report also noted the hospital did not have enough qualified nurses on staff. 

Neither UMMC or Merit Health Biloxi officials responded to a request for comment for the story.

Leapfrog reported that nationwide, 29% of hospitals received an “A,” 26% a “B,” and 39% a “C.”

Less than 1% got an “F” and 6% received a “D.”  

The risk of three infections commonly associated with hospital stays – including MRSA, central-line blood infections, and catheter-related urinary tract infections – spiked to a 5-year high during the COVID-19 pandemic and remains high in its latest report, according to Leapfrog. 

“Infections like these can be life or death for some patients,” Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, said in a statement. “We recognize the tremendous strain the pandemic put on hospitals and their workforce, but alarming findings like these indicate hospitals must recommit to patient safety and build more resilience.”

Here is the breakdown of grades for Mississippi hospitals:

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