Almost four in ten California hospitals have received a C grade or lower for patient safety according to a new report released by Leapfrog, a non-profit organization focused on the quality of health care around the country.
The organization has been grading hospitals since 2012 based on how safe hospitals keep their patients from errors, infections, accidents and injuries. The data is based on information that the hospitals provide to the Medicare system, as well as the results of self-reported surveys.
Leapfrog analyzes 2,523 hospitals around the United States, including 250 in California. Of those 250, 70 received a C, 17 received a D, and 7 received an F. While nearly 40% of California hospitals had less than stellar grades, 108 hospitals in the state received an A.
Many of the mediocre grades were local to Los Angeles. Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center received a C, though it has improved since receiving an F in 2012 and a D in 2013.
Also near the bottom of the list is Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, which received a D. The hospital is likely ranked so low because it is one of the worst offenders when it comes to leaving sponges and surgical instruments inside patients—it is ranked in the bottom 1% nationally. In addition to its issues with leaving foreign objects behind, the hospital was also below the national average for its treatment of post-operative blood clots and several other measures of patient care.
In contrast, the Kaiser Permanente hospitals have done extraordinarily well. 17 of its 35 hospitals in California have received A grades every year since the rankings started. In addition, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, and Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Inglewood posted some of the highest scores in the report.
The rankings are important to patients who have a choice on where to seek treatment. With over 400,000 lives lost annually to hospital errors around the country, knowing which facilities have a reputation for safety can help patients make smart decisions.
The rankings also serve as a source of public shame for hospitals which need to clean up their acts. The publicity of a bad ranking motivates hospitals, like the USC Medical Center, to implement new programs to correct their bad habits. Recently, USC Medical Center purchased an implemented a system to tag sponges and other surgical instruments with a device that admits a radio frequency. When the staff waives a wand over the patient’s body, they will be alerted to any tagged sponges or implements left inside.
While every hospital strives to provide quality patient care, many are still falling short. When a hospital’s errors or mistakes causes you injury, you shouldn’t have to suffer in silence. At the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq., our dedicated medical and legal staff will evaluate the hospital’s error, and will help you develop a medical malpractice case. Dr. Bradley I. Kramer is both a medical doctor and an attorney, and has the unique expertise you need on your side to fight for adequate compensation after an accident or injury.
For a free consultation, contact us by calling (310) 289-2600 and speak with an experienced Los Angeles medical malpractice attorney today.