UCI Health nationally recognized with an "A" Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade

Orange County’s only academic health system has earned this biannual award 15 consecutive times

November 10, 2021
Leapfrog Fall 2021 Hospital Safety Grade A

UCI Health received its 15th consecutive “A” in the fall 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. This national distinction recognizes a health system’s commitment to patient safety and achievements in preventing harm.


“This national distinction is a true testament of the tireless work and commitment from our co-workers in keeping our patients safe,” said UCI Health CEO Chad T. Lefteris. “We’ve had to pivot a lot during the pandemic, and patient safety remains the highest priority for everyone at UCI Health.”

The Leapfrog Group, an independent national watchdog organization, assigns an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” or “F” grade to general hospitals across the country based on over thirty national performance measures reflecting errors, injuries, accidents and infections, as well as systems hospitals have in place to prevent harm.

The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Grade is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on hospital prevention of medical errors and harm to patients. The grading system is peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. Grades are updated twice annually, in the fall and spring.

“An ‘A’ Safety Grade is a tremendous achievement, of which this community should be extremely proud,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “I thank the leadership and workforce of UCI Health for its commitment to prioritizing patients and their safety, especially during these trying times.”

UCI Health remains committed to ensuring the safety of patients, which is also reflected in these recent milestones:

  • 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
  • Recognition as a five-star hospital and top performer in the 2021 Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Annual Ranking by Vizient Inc. UCI Medical Center was ranked No. 9 out of 101 Vizient members in the cohort of “Comprehensive Academic Medical Centers” for demonstrating excellence in delivering high-quality patient care based on the organization's Quality and Accountability Ranking.
  • Vizient also ranked UCI Health outpatient services 10 out of 53 participating academic medical centers in their 2021 Ambulatory Quality and Accountability Performance Scorecard. This award recognizes excellence in delivering high-quality outpatient care in five categories including access to care, continuum of care, quality, efficiency and equity.
  • UCI Health Comprehensive Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center received the 2021 Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus with Honor Roll Elite Plus and Type 2 Diabetes Honor Roll from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. This award recognizes the academic healthcare system’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the highest standard of stroke care according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

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.

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)

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, and the only academic health system in Orange County. 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 21 consecutive years, provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, 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. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter.

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