SM-UCLA Hospital Get Mixed Grades

Healthcare Watchdog Reviewed hospitals ability to protect patients from preventable errors, injuries and infections.

By Stan Greene, Observer Staff Writer

Are Santa Monica-area hospitals doing a great job protecting patients from preventable errors, accidents, injuries, and infections?

UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center is acing that assignment but not Providence Saint John's Health Center, according to the Leapfrog Group, the national health care watchdog organization.

In the Leapfrog Group’s Spring Safety Grades report, released this week, UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center got an “A” while Providence got a “C” assessment. The watchdog group grades hospitals twice a year, assigning letter grades from "A" to "F" based on each hospital's health care safety and quality of service.

The grades were also mixed for some of the big hospitals on the Westside. Centinela Hospital in Inglewood received an “A” but Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood got a “B” and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center only eked out a “C” grade.

“We find that straight ‘A’ hospitals have strong structures of safety in place,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “These hospitals are continuously learning, monitoring data, and addressing areas of improvement.”

Binder said that straight “A” hospitals were better prepared for COVID-19 thanks to their sustained leadership focus on patient safety as a top institutional priority.

“For many, safety and quality are embedded in their daily work at all levels of the organization, which prepared them in turn to respond to the rapidly evolving pandemic.” he added.

More than 2,700 general, acute-care U.S. hospitals – including 271 in California -- were assessed for Leapfrog’s spring safety grades. Several Golden State hospitals were among those top achievers nationwide.

In California, 93 hospitals received an “A” grade, including the Keck Hospital of USC in Los Angeles, Stanford Health Care's hospitals in Stanford and Pleasanton, Temecula Valley Hospital and Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego.

Another 58 hospitals received a “B” grade, 98 got a “C” grade, 19 got a “D” and 3 received an “F” grade. Los Angeles Community Hospital, Memorial Hospital of Gardena and San Joaquin General Hospital were the three that received a failing grade from Leapfrog Group.

Across all states, highlights of findings from the spring 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade include: 37% of hospitals received an "A," 24% received a "B," 35% received a "C," 7% received a "D," and less than 1% received an "F."

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses up to 27 national performance measures to grade hospitals using a methodology developed with guidance from the foremost experts in patient safety. This most recent data was collected immediately prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal of the Hospital Safety Grade is to reduce deaths caused by hospital errors and injuries, said Binder, adding the Safety Grade is peer-reviewed by a panel of national experts, and the Leapfrog Group receives guidance from the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.

In a press release, Leapfrog Group estimates that 160,000 lives are lost every year due to avoidable medical errors. That figure is down from 2016, when the Leapfrog Group estimated there were 205,000 avoidable deaths.

To view the full list of California hospitals, visit:


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