50% Higher Avoidable Death Rate in Hospitals Ranked D or F as compared to Hospitals with an A Ranking

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50% Higher Avoidable Death Rate in Hospitals Ranked D or F as compared to Hospitals with an A Ranking

The Leapfrog Group annually ranks the nation’s hospitals. Its most recent Spring 2016 rankings point to wide disparities in the quality of care among the nation’s hospitals. The quality indicators measured included hospital acquired infection rates, surgical mistakes, the adoption of safety measures, and patient communications. For example, how often did patients have bed sores or falls, how often did the hospital infect the patient, leave a foreign object in the patient during surgery, cause an air or gas bubble leading to a stroke, did the hospital, its nurses and doctors explain to the patient what to do for follow up care after discharge.

Of the 2,571 hospitals surveyed, 798 or close to a third got an A, 639 or over a quarter earned a B, 957 or 3 in eight received a C, 162 or 6% had a D and 15 received an F. The risk of avoidable death is 50% higher in D and F hospitals, 35% higher in C hospitals and 9% higher in B hospitals than in those receiving an A. Vermont and Maine led the nation in A scores. 153 hospitals received straight As over the past 3 and ½ years. Scores in California facilities were mixed. You can check your local hospital’s safety score at http://www.hospitalsafetyscore.org/search?findBy=state&zip_code=&city=&state_prov=CA&hospital=

You will find both surprises and some confirmations of what you were expecting. For example, UCLA Santa Monica, Centinela, White Memorial, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Davis and UC San Francisco all received A’s. So did 14 Kaiser hospitals, including those in West LA, Downey, South Bay, Woodland Hills and the Sunset facility. As did one county hospital – Natividad up in Salinas.

Long Beach Memorial, Little Company of Mary in Torrance, Keck USC and 14 Kaiser Hospitals (including Panorama City and Baldwin Park) received B’s.

Somewhat surprisingly, Cedars, Saint John’s, and UCLA Westwood all received Cs. So did Good Samaritan, Hollywood Presbyterian and 5 Kaiser facilities (none in LA). Many County hospitals received C’s, including Contra Costa, Kern, Olive View, County USC, Riverside and Ventura.

Among the California hospitals getting Ds were Arrowhead (San Bernardino), Highland (Alameda), San Francisco General, San Joaquin General, San Mateo Medical Center, and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Many of these county hospitals had been receiving Cs in earlier years and their quality scores declined to D’s. California Medical Center also received a D.

California’s public hospitals have been receiving DSRIP funding for 5 years to improve the very quality of hospital care being measured in this study. Quality of care improved notably at Natividad, Kern and Contra Costa. At most of the others, the local facilities’ grades declined in some cases quite markedly.

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