The worst hospitals in Chicago

Have you ever wondered which are the worst hospitals in the Chicago area? You may be surprised at some which are rated the best hospitals in the area. Leapfrog Group, a Washington DC based nonprofit which monitors the safety and quality of hospitals issued its Hospital Safety Scorecard for Chicago area hospitals. The group gauges hospitals’ efforts at preventing avoidable deaths caused by infections, miscommunication and medical chart errors. Not surprisingly, the hospitals at the bottom of the list also lead the list in medical malpractice.

Data for the Safety Scorecard comes from Medicare, the American Hospital Association and from the hospitals themselves. A total of sixty six Chicago hospitals were evaluated, twenty seven received A’s, fifteen received B’s, twenty four received C’s and four hospitals received D’s in the evaluation. Mt. Sinai, Holy Cross and St. James Hospitals in both Chicago Heights and Olympia Fields received the lowest grade of D . Among the highest rated were Illinois Masonic, Rush University Medical Center, Swedish Covenant, University of Chicago, Lutheran General and Good Samaritan.

Each hospital was rated on the factors below. As you can see, the evaluations covered a wide spectrum of practices.

Problems with surgery

  • Dangerous object left in patient’s body
  • Surgical wound splits open
  • Death from serious treatable complications
  • Collapsed lung
  • Serious breathing problem
  • Dangerous blood clot
  • Accidental cuts and tears


  • MRSA Infection
  • C. diff Infection
  • Infection in the blood during ICU stay
  • Infection in the urinary tract during ICU stay
  • Surgical site infection after colon surgery

Practices to Present Errors

  • Doctors order medications through a computer
  • Staff accurately record patient medications
  • Handwashing
  • Communication about medicines
  • Communication about discharge
  • Staff work together to prevent errors

Safety Procedures

  • Dangerous bed sores
  • Patient falls
  • Air or gas bubble in the blood
  • Track and reduce risks to patients
  • Take steps to prevent ventilator problems

Doctors, Nurses and Hospital Staff

  • Training to improve safety
  • Effective leadership to prevent errors
  • Enough qualified nurses
  • Specially trained doctors care for ICU patients
  • Communication with doctors
  • Communication with nurses
  • Responsiveness of hospital staff

To see how your local hospital rated, click here for the whole list. You can also view the detailed information for each hospital.

I have previously written about investigating nursing homes. The same care should be taken when selecting a hospital. Of course, you cannot always select your hospital when you are taken by ambulance, but if you have a choice within your health insurance plan, selecting a highly rated hospital is advisable.

Unfortunately, people are victims of medical malpractice at even the best hospitals. Even the top doctors in Chicago can commit malpractice. If you have questions about whether a hospital or doctor has committed malpractice in your care, feel free to contact us at 773-779-9885 for a free consultation. It may turn out your care was not the result of malpractice, but you at least deserve the answers as to what happened during your hospitalization.

The worst hospitals in Chicago