The Leapfrog Group gives UCI Health 13th "A" grade in patient safety

December 18, 2020
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The Leapfrog Group has awarded UCI Health its 13th consecutive “A” grade in its biannual safety performance measurements of how well hospitals protect patients from errors, injuries and infections.

The fall 2020 Hospital Safety Grade is compiled by The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit patient safety watchdog organization that assessed patient safety among more than 2,600 acute care hospitals in the United States.

“I congratulate each and every one of our staff for their relentless commitment to our patients’ safety — even during this pandemic,” says UCI Health CEO Chad Lefteris.

The UCI Health commitment to the safety of patients also is reflected in these recent milestones:

  • Successful completion of The Joint Commission hospital accreditation survey this spring. 
  • Successful completion of the American Burn Association's 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, among more than 4,700 hospitals worldwide, 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 as well as 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.

The public can compare scores locally and nationally at the newly updated Hospital Safety Score website. The Hospital Safety Score is fully transparent, with a full analysis of the data and methodology used in determining grades available online.

“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.”

In a 2019 analysis, the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality 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,” says Binder.

The safety scores consider such factors as:

  • How often a hospital gives patients recommended treatment for a given medical condition or procedure
  • The environment in which patients receive care (e.g. whether a hospital uses a computerized physician order entry system to prevent medication errors)
  • What happens to a patient while receiving care (e.g. 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 in fall 2020:

  • 34% of hospitals earned an “A”
  • 24%, a “B”
  • 35%, a “C”
  • 7%, a “D”
  • Less than 1%, an “F”

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 System is the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif. The 418-bed acute-care hospital, listed among America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for 20 consecutive years, provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, as well as behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centerhigh-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. It is the primary teaching hospital for the UCI School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.