WAUKEGAN, Ill. – State Representative Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan, expressed concern after a hospital in her district received a failing grade on patient safety from Leapfrog, a non-government watchdog. Vista Medical Center East, on Sheridan Rd. in Waukegan, was the only hospital in Illinois to receive a grade of ‘F’.
“For any hospital to fail to prioritize patient safety is unacceptable,” said Rep. Mayfield. “For only one hospital to fail in safeguarding vulnerable patients when others are able to do so is deeply concerning, and merits scrutiny. The reasons for Vista’s failure to ensure the safety of patients require explanation, and these problems need to be resolved.”
According to the report from Leapfrog, Vista had below average performance with regard to such things as patients being injured in falls, objects being left inside patients’ bodies after surgery, safe administration of medication, communication among staff and between staff and patients, and infection rates. Vista also declined to share information on the handwashing practices of its staff.
Leapfrog awarded other hospitals in Illinois grades as low as ‘D’, but all Illinois hospitals nearest to Vista received at least a grade of ‘C’. The nearest hospital to Vista to receive an ‘A’ grade was Northwest Community Hospital on W. Central Rd. in Arlington Heights. Northshore University HealthSystem – Highland Park Hospital on Park Avenue W. in Highland Park received a ‘B’.
Waukegan is around 79% non-white, with a majority of the population being Hispanic.
“High quality healthcare is a human right,” said Mayfield. “When Illinoisans need to go to a hospital, they should be able to do so with absolute confidence that that hospital will help them heal, not make their condition worse. I am monitoring this situation and look forward to the community getting answers as to how these failures were allowed to occur.”