UCI Health earns 11th consecutive top grade from The Leapfrog Group

November 07, 2019

UCI Health has received an 11th consecutive “A” grade in The Leapfrog Group’s biannual Hospital Safety Grade, which rates how well hospitals protect patients from errors, injuries and infections. The fall 2019 Hospital Safety Grade is compiled by The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit patient safety watchdog organization, that assessed patient safety among more than 2,600 hospitals in the United States.

“UCI Health makes a commitment to our community each day to provide our patients with the safest environment and highest quality care available,” said UCI Health Chief Medical Officer William C. Wilson, MD, MA. “The skill, commitment and innovation among thousands of physicians, nurses and staff in Orange County’s only academic health system equals access to the most advanced level of complex healthcare.” 

The commitment to the safety of UCI Health patients is reflected in other recent milestones, including:

  • Successful completion of The Joint Commission hospital accreditation survey this spring. 
  • Successful completion of American Burn association verification review of the UCI Health Regional Burn Center, the leading provider of critical inpatient and outpatient burn and wound care in a region of more than 3.5 million people.
  • Recognition as the first academic health system, amongst more than 4,700 hospitals world-wide, to implement all 30 evidence-based Actionable Patient Safety Solutions and achieve a five-star rating from the Patient Safety Movement Foundation 
  • The American College of Surgeons’ Meritorious Hospital award in its National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, which recognizes hospitals that have achieved excellent outcomes for surgical patient care. UCI Health was among just 56 U.S. hospitals to achieve this designation for outcomes in all surgical cases and in high-risk surgical cases. 
  • The American College of Surgeons’ Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program accreditation for the UCI Health Bariatric Surgery Program. This accreditation means UCI Health exceeds the highest standards of quality available in bariatric surgery.

The Leapfrog Group’s report is the first and only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety, the score is free to the public and designed to give consumers information they can use to protect themselves and their families when facing a hospital stay.

“In stark contrast to 20 years ago, we’re now able to pinpoint where the problems are, and that allows us to grade hospitals,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “It also allows us to better track progress. Encouragingly, we are seeing fewer deaths from the preventable errors we monitor in our grading process.”

Binder cited an analysis earlier this year by the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality that found 45,000 fewer deaths than a 2016 analysis, based on the prevalence of safety problems in hospitals graded by The Leapfrog Group.

“Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grades recognize hospitals like UCI Medical Center that focus on advancing patient safety. This ranking provides an important resource for patients, and a benchmark for hospitals, to determine how care at one hospital compares to others in a region,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “Hospitals that earn an ‘A’ Hospital Safety Grade deserve to be recognized for their efforts in preventing medical harm and errors.”

The safety scores consider factors such as how often a hospital gives patients recommended treatment for a given medical condition or procedure; assesses the environment in which patients receive care, such as whether a hospital uses a computerized physician order entry system to prevent medication errors; and what happens to a patient while receiving care, such as whether care teams left foreign objects in patients while undergoing surgery.

Developed under the guidance of Leapfrog’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F” score representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm. Of more than 2,600 hospitals graded, 32 percent earned an “A,” 26 percent earned a “B,” 36 percent a “C,” 6 percent a “D” and just under 1 percent an “F.” 

The Hospital Safety Score is fully transparent, with a full analysis of the data and methodology used in determining grades available online. The public can compare scores locally and nationally at the newly updated Hospital Safety Score website at http://www.hospitalsafetygrade.org/. Consumers can also download the Hospital Safety Score mobile app.

About The Leapfrog Group: Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.  

UCI Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif., a 402-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 19 consecutive years. UCI Medical Center features Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and is the primary teaching hospital for UCI School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.