NEWS | December 4, 2012

UC Davis Medical Center named 2012 Leapfrog Top Hospital


UC Davis Medical Center ranks among The Leapfrog Group's list of Top Hospitals for 2012, a distinction that places UC Davis among the top 10 percent of hospitals participating in the national survey.

UC Davis Medical Center is one of 89 hospitals nationwide to receive a 2012 Top Hospital designation from The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit coalition of some of the nation's largest employers and health-care purchasers. © Leapfrog Group UC Davis Medical Center is one of 89 hospitals nationwide to receive a 2012 Top Hospital designation from The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit coalition of some of the nation's largest employers and health-care purchasers. © Leapfrog Group

The award recognizes hospitals for their exceptional performance in critical areas of patient safety and quality, including mortality rates for certain common procedures, infection rates, established policies and procedures to prevent errors, and measures of efficient use of resources.

The results, publicly posted online today at, offer information on hospitals’ quality and safety to patients, families, employers and other purchasers of health care.

The selection is based on the Leapfrog's survey of 1,200 hospitals that volunteer to publicly report their performance. It includes university and other teaching hospitals, children's hospitals and community hospitals in rural, suburban and urban settings. 

UC Davis is one of 66 urban hospitals, 11 rural hospitals and 12 children's hospitals in the U.S. recognized at The Leapfrog Group's annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, on Dec. 4.

"The Leapfrog Top Hospital distinction is by far the most competitive award a hospital can receive," said Leah Binder, president and chief executive officer of The Leapfrog Group. "Leapfrog holds hospitals to the highest standards on behalf of our purchaser members and their employees. By achieving the Top Hospital accolade, UC Davis has demonstrated exemplary performance across all areas of quality and patient safety analyzed on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. This hospital stands out as one that consistently provides safe, high-quality care."

The Leapfrog Group is a nonprofit coalition of some of the nation's largest employers and health-care purchasers. Through its annual top hospital survey, established in 2006, and a new hospital safety score, which rates hospitals on preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents and infections, the group aims to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality and affordability of health care for Americans.

As a 2012 Top Hospital, UC Davis met the following criteria for safe, high-quality care:

  • Prevention of medication errors via a computerized physician order entry (CPOE) system. Physicians must enter at least 75 percent of medication orders via a CPOE system, which also must demonstrate, via a test, that it alerts physicians to at least 50 percent of common, serious prescribing errors. 

  • Robust volume, processes of care and outcome standards for complex, high-risk procedures. These include heart bypass surgery, heart angioplasty, aortic valve replacement, abdominal aortic aneurism repair, bariatric surgery, esophogectomy, pancreatectomy and high-risk newborn deliveries.

  • Intensive care unit (ICU) physician staffing standards, which ensure patients receive care from board-certified critical-care specialists. Research has shown that there is a 30 percent reduction in overall hospital mortality and a 40 percent reduction in ICU mortality when intensivists manage or co-manage ICU care.

  • A value score of 69 or higher on Leapfrog's Hospital Recognition Program, calculated using standards from the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Value scores range from 0 to 100 and include a quality score, which represents the extent to which hospital care conforms to evidence-based guidelines and achieves desired outcomes, and a resource-use score, which reflects average length of stay (adjusted for risk and readmissions) for selected conditions and procedures, and rates of health-care-acquired conditions, such as infections and falls. A high value score demonstrates both high quality and appropriate resource use.

  •  "A" Hospital Safety Score rating. The safety score represents a hospital's overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors. It is developed from an analysis of publicly available data on 26 hospital performance measures, all currently in use by national measurement and reporting programs including the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"Delivering the highest quality and safest care for our patients is a top priority," said Ann Madden Rice, chief executive officer of UC Davis Medical Center. "This designation reflects the commitment of our faculty and staff to achieving these important goals."

UC Davis Medical Center is a comprehensive academic medical center where clinical practice, teaching and research converge to advance human health. Centers of excellence include the National Cancer Institute-designated UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center; the region's only Level 1 pediatric and adult trauma centers; the UC Davis MIND Institute, devoted to finding treatments and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders; and the UC Davis Children's Hospital. The medical center serves a 33-county, 65,000-square-mile area that stretches north to the Oregon border and east to Nevada. It further extends its reach through the award-winning telemedicine program, which gives remote, medically underserved communities throughout California unprecedented access to specialty and subspecialty care. For more information, visit