When it comes to securing the health of oneself and one’s family, some local hospitals are excelling, according to a recent study from The Leapfrog Group.
The Leapfrog Group, founded in 2000, is an independent, nonprofit organization run by some of the nation’s largest employers and health-care purchasers. Since 2006, the coalition has been conducting an annual top hospital survey and compiling a national hospital safety score.
The UC Davis Medical Center earned recognition as one of The Leapfrog Group’s top hospitals in 2012, a list that included only 20 other medical facilities in California.
The top-hospital results, which were released last week, were based on Leapfrog’s survey of 1,200 participating hospitals, including university hospitals, children’s hospitals and community hospitals in rural, suburban and urban settings.
Leah Binder, president and chief executive officer of The Leapfrog Group, praised the achievement of the UCD Medical Center in a news release:
“The Leapfrog top hospital distinction is by far the most competitive award a hospital can receive. Leapfrog holds hospitals to the highest standards on behalf of our purchaser members and their employees.
“By achieving the top hospital accolade, UC Davis has demonstrated exemplary performance across all areas of quality and patient safety analyzed on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. This hospital stands out as one that consistently provides safe, high-quality care.”
The Med Center also earned an A grade from Leapfrog for patient safety.
Leapfrog says the safety grades are a general representation of a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients protected from preventable harm. It rates each participating hospital on medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections.
The data is compiled under the guidance of a nine-member panel of leading experts on patient safety; one of those experts is Patrick Romano, a professor of medicine and pediatrics at UCD. Scores are calculated on 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data.
Of the 2,618 American hospitals that participated in the survey, 790 earned an A on their hospital safety score, 678 earned a B, 1,004 received a C, 121 earned a D and 25 received an F.
The evaluation saw several local hospitals pass with flying colors. Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region — which encompasses hospitals, physicians and outpatient centers in Yolo, Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Nevada, Sacramento, Solano, Sutter and Yuba counties — received straight A’s at all six of its local hospitals, including Sutter Davis Hospital.
Of the 14 Sutter Health facilities rated, 11 had A grades and three received C grades.
“The teamwork and skillful thinking of our clinicians and staff have made such a great impact on patient safety,” James Conforti, regional president of Sutter Health, said in a statement. “Their actions and disciplined approach to applying best practices have made a real difference to our patients.”
Conforti cited the safety-focused mechanisms in place, from a regionwide adoption of ceiling lifts to complying with the best practices for glycemic control, sepsis and central line-associated bloodstream infections.
Woodland Memorial Hospital did not perform as well, receiving its first D grade on Leapfrog’s scale. The hospital scored below average in several areas, including falls, post-operative blood clots, collapsed lungs due to medical treatment, management structure and other procedures designed to keep patients safe.
Melissa Jue, a spokeswoman for Dignity Health, the hospital’s parent company, said, “Dignity Health supports public reporting of a hospital’s quality and we take seriously our responsibility to provide compassionate, quality care.”
She expressed confidence in the care provided by Woodland Memorial’s doctors, nurses and caregivers, adding, “Dignity Health remains concerned that the Leapfrog Group’s approach oversimplifies the complex task of measuring and improving quality.”
A comparison of all the local hospitals’ safety scores, and the entire list of top hospitals, can be found at leapfroggroup.org.