When choosing a healthcare provider, two primary things that most people take into consideration are overall quality of care and patient safety. I know that is true for me, as is having providers that I trust and have a natural rapport with.

While there's the assumption that hospitals across the country strive to take the best care of their patients, the truth is that there are hospitals that let their patients down, sometimes with tragic results.

According to LeapFrog Hospital Safety Grade, these tend to be hospitals that have teams that don't work well together, or they lack good leadership that ensures patient safety is the number one priority.

When environments such as this exist within a hospital, one mistake can steamroll into patients experiencing dangerous complications, slower recovery times, and even unnecessary deaths in some instances.

The Numbers Speak For Themselves

The statistics cited in their study are alarming:

  • Upwards of 200,000 people die every year from hospital errors, injuries, accidents, and infections
  • Every year, 1 out of every 31 patients develops an infection while in the hospital, an infection that didn’t have to happen.
  • A Medicare patient has a 1 in 4 chance of experiencing injury, harm, or death when admitted to a hospital
  • Today alone, more than 500 people will die because of a preventable hospital error
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Because most hospital errors can be prevented, LeapFrog utilizes up to 30 national performance measures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to create their Hospital Safety Grade. Factors such as medical errors, problems with surgery, safety problems, practices in place to prevent errors, and hospital staff are taken into consideration.

Their hospital grades have become the gold standard for hospital safety rankings in America. They not only provide consumers with crucial information that allows them to make informed choices on where to receive care, but they also show hospitals the area(s) in which they need to improve.


Minnesota Hospital Safety Grades

The most recent hospital safety grades, which were established in the fall of 2023, had Minnesota ranked #32 overall in the country for hospital safety.

Minnesota had 9 hospitals earn an 'A' grade, while another 13 hospitals earned a 'B'. The hospitals that earned an 'A' grade include many Mayo Clinic facilities and Essentia Health's amazing new facility in Duluth.

The hospitals that earned an 'A' include:

  • Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis
  • Buffalo Hospital in Buffalo
  • Cambridge Medical Center in Cambridge
  • Essentia Health Saint Mary's Medical Center in Duluth
  • Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin
  • Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont
  • Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato
  • Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester
  • Owatonna Hospital in Owatonna

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Twenty Minnesota Hospitals earned a mediocre 'C' grade, and 2 hospitals fared even worse.

Minnesota Hospitals Who Earned A 'D' Grade For Hospital Safety

1. Essentia Health - Virginia Clinic

Google Maps
Google Maps

Located at 901 9th Street N in Virginia, Minnesota, Essentia Health's Virginia Clinic failed to score 'Better Than Average' in a variety of key indicators. This included areas involving surgical infections, surgical wounds, accidental cuts & tears, practices to prevent errors, safe medication administration, patient falls and injuries, dangerous bed sores, and more.

The Virginia clinic did score well in several areas, including responsiveness of hospital staff and communication with nurses. You can see the full report below.

It's worth noting that there were several areas where information was unavailable. Also, Essentia Health's Duluth Hospital was one of only 9 Minnesota hospitals that received an "A" grade, so perhaps a lack of data contributed to the grade.

The facility also had declined to report some areas. LeapFrog notes that although thousands of hospitals nationwide report to them to help patients and purchasers make better healthcare decisions, Essentia Health's Virginia Clinic did not participate.

2. Sanford Bemidji Medical Center

Google Maps
Google Maps

Located at 1300 Anne Street NW, the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center also failed to score 'Better Than Average' in a variety of key indicators. This included infections in the blood, a dangerous object left in the patient's body, patient falls & injuries including broken hips, handwashing, safe medication administration, and more.

The Virginia clinic did great overall in several areas, including responsiveness of hospital staff and communication with doctors. You can see the full report below.

Again it's worth noting that there were several areas where the facility declined to report to LeapFrog during this grading period.

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You can see all the grades Minnesota hospitals that were included in this survey received by clicking the button below. Just search by state and select “MN" in the drop-down menu.

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