FEATURE | Posted Oct. 29, 2014

UC Davis Medical Center earns 'A' grade for patient safety

Repeat honors on Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Score

UC Davis Medical Center, copyright UC Regents
By strictly following established best practices for patient safety, UC Davis has significantly reduced its ratio of central-line bloodstream and urinary catheter infections in intensive care unit patients.

UC Davis Medical Center has been honored again with an “A” grade on The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Score for its overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm.

Compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety, the score is based on an analysis of 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data, including rates of infections, injuries and errors.

“Our goal is to ensure that patients receive the highest quality care and have the best possible clinical outcomes,” said J. Douglas Kirk, UC Davis Medical Center's chief medical officer. “The Hospital Safety Score reflects our extraordinary commitment to patient safety and the hard work of our health-care team and staff.”

More than 2,500 U.S. general hospitals were assigned Hospital Safety Scores in fall 2014, with about 31 percent receiving an “A” grade. UC Davis Medical Center also received the top grade for the last two reporting periods, announced by Leapfrog in April 2014 and October 2013.

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The Hospital Safety Score provides data and research to help families make informed decisions. It also recognizes hospitals for making patient safety and the public reporting of quality and outcomes measures a priority. It is one of the many rankings, ratings and scorecards in which the medical center participates to measure its patient-care quality and patient satisfaction.

“Patient safety needs to be a 24-7 priority for hospitals, as errors and infections are all too common and often deadly,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We commend the ‘A’ hospitals, including UC Davis, for helping us to raise the standards of health care nationwide and demonstrating that they’ve made the well-being of patients a top priority.” 

“The Hospital Safety Score reflects our extraordinary commitment to patient safety and the hard work of our health-care team and staff.”
— J. Douglas Kirk, chief medical officer at UC Davis Medical Center.

The Hospital Safety Score assigns one of five letter grades, “A” through “F,” to rate hospitals. The composite safety score for each hospital was developed by combining multiple performance measures using a pre-determined weighting methodology. Some of these measures include data on central-line associated bloodstream infections, falls and trauma, very severe pressure ulcers, and preventable complications associated with surgery, such as foreign objects retained in the body, postoperative hazards, and accidental punctures or lacerations.

For more details on the methodology used in determining grades and to see UC Davis Medical Center’s scores, visit the Hospital Safety Score website at www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.

To learn about how a panel of nine national patient safety experts developed Leapfrog’s composite patient safety score, read “Safety in Numbers: The Development of Leapfrog’s Composite Patient Safety Score for U.S. Hospitals,” which was published online in April 2013 in the Journal of Patient Safety. The peer-reviewed journal is dedicated to presenting research advances and field applications in every area of patient safety. 

The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to use the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality and affordability of health care for Americans. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey allows purchasers to structure their contracts and purchasing to reward the highest-performing hospitals. The Leapfrog Group was founded in November 2000 with support from the Business Roundtable and national funders and is now independently operated with support from its purchaser and other members.