The Best and Worst Hospitals in Illinois for Medical Care

Hospitals In Illinois that are BADA national hospital safety watchdog group has just issued its semi-annual report card on U.S. hospitals, giving 46 Illinois hospitals an “A” grade and four a “D” for patient care. The state was ranked 11 overall among states, an improvement from 14th place in spring 2019.

The nonprofit Leapfrog Group grades hospitals on how well they protect patients from medical errors, injuries and infections.

Of the 108 Illinois hospitals surveyed, 46 earned an A, 19 earned a B, and 39 earned a C. Of the four that received a D, only one is outside the Chicago area: UnityPoint Health in Pekin, Illinois. The rest were Mount Sinai Hospital, John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital, and University of Illinois Hospital.  None received an F.

Leapfrog Group claims it conducts its twice-a-year study to help healthcare consumers make informed choices about where to seek care. As many as 440,000 people die in the U.S. every year from preventable mistakes in hospitals.

The report scores hospitals on five metrics:

  • Infections
  • Problems with surgery
  • Practices to prevent errors
  • Safety problems
  • Staffing

Chicago’s Safest Hospitals

Some Chicago-area hospitals receiving “A” grades for patient safety were:

  • University of Chicago Medical Center
  • Loyola University Medical Center
  • NorthShore University-Evanston Hospital
  • AMITA Health Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center (formerly Presence Health)
  • AMITA Health Saint Joseph Hospital (formerly Presence)
  • West Suburban Medical Center (Oak Park)
  • Loretto Hospital (improved from a D grade in spring 2019)
  • Rush Oak Park Hospital (Oak Park)
  • Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers (Evergreen Park)

A full list of the Chicago-area hospital rankings can be found here.

The Bottom Four

University of Illinois Hospital

1740 West Taylor St.
Chicago, IL 60612-7232

Falling to a “D” from a “C” grade in spring 2019, U of I ranked poorly in these areas:

  • “C. diff” (clostridium difficile) infections in patients and surgical site infections after colon surgery. The latter can be fatal.
  • Dangerous objects accidentally left in patients’ bodies following surgery, often a surgical sponge.
  • Collapsed lung resulting from improper insertion of a catheter or feeding tube.
  • Serious breathing problems following surgery.
  • Life-threatening blood clots after surgery—ranked among the very worst hospitals for this.
  • Accidental cuts or tears during surgery.
  • Inadequate communication to patients regarding medications administered and inadequate post-discharge instructions about care.
  • Development of potentially dangerous bedsores.
  • Failure to prevent patient falls and injuries.
  • Poor doctor and nurse communication with patients.
  • Too few specially trained intensive-care (ICU) physicians.

John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital
1969 W. Ogden Ave.
Chicago, IL 60612-3785

The Cook County-operated Stroger Hospital also earned a “D” in spring 2019, falling from a “C” the previous year.

Stroger ranked poorly in these areas:

  • Potentially lethal MRSA (staph) infections and C. diff infections
  • Dangerous object left in patient’s body after surgery (ranked at very bottom)
  • Death from serious but treatable complications following surgery
  • Dangerous blood clots following surgery
  • Accidental cuts and tears during surgery
  • Poor communication to patients about medications and post-discharge care
  • Poor hand-washing by staff, raising risk of infection
  • Development of potentially dangerous bedsores
  • Poor tracking of past errors to reduce risk to patients
  • Poor responsiveness of hospital staff to patient calls for help
  • Too few critical-care and ICU doctors (received lowest score)

Mt. Sinai Hospital
1500 South Fairfield Ave.
Chicago, IL 60608

Mt. Sinai has improved from its “F” rating in 2018. Leapfrog Group found the hospital performed poorly in these areas:

  • High rate of patient infections of nearly all kinds: MRSA, C. diff, urinary tract, and surgical site infection (colon)
  • Death from serious but treatable complications following surgery
  • Accidental cuts and tears in surgery
  • Dangerous blood clots following surgery
  • Poor communication to patients about medications and post-discharge care
  • Poor staff hand-washing practices
  • Development of potentially dangerous bedsores
  • Failure to prevent patient falls and injuries
  • Poor medical staff communication with patients and responsiveness to patient needs

UnityPoint Health-Pekin
600 S. 13th Street
Pekin, IL 61554-5098

Fell from a “C” in spring 2019. Leapfrog Group found the following problems:

  • High rate of C. diff infections
  • Surgical stitches on stomach or abdominal area splitting open after surgery, leaving a wound exposed and raising the risk of infection
  • Accidental cuts or tears during surgery
  • Serious breathing problems following surgery
  • Poor medical staff communication about medications and post-discharge care
  • Poor staff hand-washing practices
  • Poor tracking of past errors in order to prevent future errors
  • Too few qualified nurses
  • Too few specially trained intensive-care doctors
  • Poor medical staff communication with patients

While 10 states ranked safer than Illinois, hospital patients here are still better off than in most other states, especially Alaska, North Dakota and Wyoming, which all tied for last place. Maine was rated the safest.