A new report ranks New Jersey tops in the nation when it comes to hospital patient safety.

The Leapfrog Group report gives 38 of New Jersey’s 67 hospitals an “A” rating for keeping patients safe, which is 57 percent, the highest percentage of any state in the country.

Oregon ranks second with 55 percent, followed by Virginia with 52 percent.

“I think what you’re seeing is just a constant drumbeat in New Jersey.I it’s multifaceted work to provide the best patient care possible,” said Kerry McKean Kelly, the vice president of communications for the New Jersey Hospital Association .

She said that drumbeat is “within New Jersey working across several different layers of healthcare.”

McKean Kelly said the Hospital Association has been working systematically for many years to improve patient care and safety, and the results of the survey reflect that.

She said a number of different factors are considered when determining patient safety in a hospital, including process and structural issues, “so that can include things like leadership systems, and whether they have a culture of safety.”

In addition, she said, the survey takes into account nursing and physician staffing levels, especially in the intensive care unit, as well as specific healthcare outcomes, “so it might examine infection rates or falls of patients that results in harm.”

Also, “it will focus on things like central line associated blood stream infections and the other type of complications that can occur in a hospital.”

She noted all of the hospitals in the state of New Jersey are working together in what is called a High Reliability Organization Collaborative, which focuses on the safety culture within healthcare organizations.

“This includes everything from empowering staff to be able to speak up if they have a safety concern to making sure that the hospital CEO is setting the right tone throughout the organization," McKean Kelly said.

She said New Jersey has a proud history of nursing excellence that is also an important contributing factor for patient safety.

She added while it’s great to have the highest patient safety rating in the nation, “quality improvement and patient safety is a constant journey. You’re never there, you’re never done, you’re never finished. It’s something that has to occur every day within our organizations We’re really proud that we’re making improvements in patient safety, but we know that our work is not done.”

NJ hospital rankings

Below are the autumn 2018 grades from the Leapfrog Group. Click on the hospital for more information about the ranking.

Grade: A

Grade: B

Grade: C

Grade: D

Grade: F

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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