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UCI Health earns 14th consecutive "A" grade in patient safety from The Leapfrog Group

April 29, 2021
Grade A in The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Grade from 2012 to 2021

UCI Health has received a 14th 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 spring 2021 Hospital Safety Grade is compiled by The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit patient safety watchdog organization, that assessed patient safety among more than 2,700 hospitals in the United States.

“The safety of our patients is the highest priority for everyone at UCI Health and this grade from The Leapfrog Groups reflects our team’s laser-like focus even during the height of the COVID pandemic,” said UCI Health CEO Chad T. Lefteris. “The skill, commitment and innovation among thousands of physicians and co-workers in Orange County’s only academic health system equals access to the most advanced level of complex healthcare.” 

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.

“An ‘A’ safety grade is an elite designation that your community should be proud of,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “The past year has been extraordinarily difficult for hospitals, but UCI Health shows us it is possible to keep a laser focus on patients and their safety, no matter what it takes.”

A recent analysis by the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality that found fewer avoidable deaths based on the prevalence of safety problems in hospitals graded by The Leapfrog Group. Overall, an estimated 160,000 lives are lost annually from the avoidable medical errors that are accounted for in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a significant improvement from 2016, when researchers estimated 205,000 avoidable deaths. The analysis also found that D and F hospitals carry nearly twice the risk of mortality of A hospitals. More than 50,000 lives could be saved if all hospitals performed at the level of A graded hospitals, according to Leapfrog.

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. 

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 and new Leapfrog Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Survey collect and transparently report hospital and ASC 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 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.