Loyola University Medical Center Rated Below National Average In Latest Consumer Reports Safety Rating–But Don’t Panic

Thursday, March 27, 2014 || By Michael Romain 

Today, the Chicago Sun-Times published some of the results of Consumer Reports’ latest safety rating of more than 2,500 hospitals across the country. This year, according to the venerable nonprofit’s ratings system, Resurrection Medical Center on the Northwest Side is the safest hospital in Chicago.

“The least safe for patients was South Shore Hospital on the South Side, which ranked low because of a lack of communication with patients and overuse of hospital scans,” noted to the Sun-Times article.

This year, the safest suburban hospital is Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital in La Grange, which received a 66 out of 100.

Maywood-based Loyola University Medical Center received a 45–as did several other hospitals across the state, including Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the University of Illinois Hospital, both in Chicago.

According to the Sun-Times, “The national average safety score was 51, while the highest-ranking hospitals in the country ranked in the upper 70s.”

Dr. Doris Peter, associate director of Consumer Reports Health, was instrumental in compiling the data for the ratings. He noted that suburban hospitals scored better, on average, than urban hospitals, primarily due to the fact that urban hospitals face far more challenges than their suburban counterparts.

Dr. Peter’s explanation is helpful for understanding the relatively low safety rating that Loyola received. Despite being situated in a suburb, Loyola-equipped with a Level I Trauma Center and a Burn Center that is “one of the busiest and largest in Illinois,” according to its website–must deal with many challenges, the volume and complexity of which may make it much more comparable to an urban hospital than a suburban one.

Not that there isn’t room for improvement.

“’Overall, we found individual hospitals in urban areas that performed well. I think it’s possible for the hospital to improve,’ [Dr.] Peter said. ‘. . . Just because you live in an urban area doesn’t mean you should expect less or lower-quality care.'” VFP

For a more in-depth understanding of how Consumer Reports came up with its ratings, click here.

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