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The Petition Archives | Letter Grades for Hospitals
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Letter Grades for Hospitals


Dianne Feinstein
Senator, United States of America
331 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC


David Larson
21663 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265


April 17, 2009, 11:29 pm


Consumers have no easy way of choosing one hospital over another. Sure, there is information buried somewhere online about the number of mainline infections one hospital has. But few people take the time to do the search and fewer still would even know where to look. However, mainline infections are totally preventable if proper precautions are taken by a hospital (mostly nurses need to sanitize their hands a great deal more than they do now). In an average hospital, mainline infections lead to around 100 preventable deaths each year. So what's the solution? It's the same solution California enacted to fix the sanitation problems we had in our restaurants.

All hospitals in California should be required by law to post a letter grade "A," "B," "C," "D," or "F" on their front entrance in a large visible poster format. Earning an "A" grade will mean that the hospital has only a few preventable infection deaths each year (of course we'd need to adjust by the number of patients that hospital sees). But, if a hospital gets an "F" grade, everybody in the hospital will know it and they will be shamed into washing their hands more frequently. This is not a trivial issue. It could add up to thousands of lives and millions of dollars saved in our state alone. And it is entirely fixable, if consumers are empowered with this simple knowledge and hospitals are forced to wear the "scarlet letter" of their shortcomings in stopping preventable death.

A few years ago California did this for restaurants and within a short time, the majority of the dirty restaurants cleaned up their acts because they knew it would cost them business otherwise. Hospital death from preventable infection is a far more serious issue than clean restaurants. This should be a no-brainer.


Dianne Feinstein was not sent an email because David Larson did not provide a work-related email address for her. Sometimes this is because public figures, including government officials, do not share their work-related email addresses with the public. If you think that a public figure should offer a work-related email address to the public, please contact them and submit another petition.

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Cite This Petition

David Larson, "Letter Grades for Hospitals," in The Petition Archives, Item #1442, (accessed January 18, 2018).

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