Quality and safety measures
Voluntary public reporting initiatives
UC Davis Medical Center voluntarily participates in a number of public reporting initiatives and efforts that focus on quality of care and patient safety. Some select highlights:
UC Davis Medical Center was one of 90 hospitals nationwide to receive a 2013 Top Hospital designation from The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit coalition of large U.S. employers and health-care purchasers.
The Top Hospitals designation is widely cited as the nation's most competitive quality award. It recognizes hospitals that deliver high-quality care by preventing medical errors, reducing mortality for high-risk procedures and reducing readmissions. It also provides a comprehensive picture of how patients fare, what resources are used to care for patients and how management promotes safety and quality.
Leapfrog also issues hospital safety scores that grade overall success in keeping patients safe from infections, injuries and errors. On a scale of "A" to "F," UC Davis Medical Center received an "A" rating in Leapfrog's October 2013 score update.
The evaluation ranks hospitals nationwide on the likelihood that its patients will be free from preventable harm during their inpatient stays. Grades are based on an analysis of hospital patient-safety outcomes, such as rates of inpatient injuries, infections and medical errors, and efforts toward improvement.
UC Davis Medical Center meets or exceeds national norms in a number of quality-control measures tracked by the Hospital Quality Alliance or HQA, a national public-private collaboration to improve health care.
In data related to 10 key areas — including heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, pneumonia, blood clots, surgery, emergency department care, preventive care, pregnancy/delivery and child asthma — that appeared on the federal Hospital Compare website as of January 2013, UC Davis matched or exceeded both state and national hospitals in 22 of 40 "timely and effective care" measures, such as prevention and treatment of blood clots and use of antibiotics at the right time before surgeries. In ten other measures, results were not available or the hospital had too few patients or cases to report. The Hospital Compare website contains data on a wide range of additional quality and safety measures.
The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems initiative or HCAHPS measures patients' perspectives on hospital care. Results that appeared on the Hospital Compare website as of October 2013 showed UC Davis Medical Center meeting or exceeding both state and federal averages in one of 10 categories: whether patients were given information about what to do during recovery at home. The hospital matched or exceeded state averages in two other areas.
Seventy percent of UC Davis patients said they would definitely recommend the hospital to family or friends, exceeding state marks and one percentage point under the national average. This information is also available on the Hospital Compare website.
UC Davis Medical Center also participates in CalQualityCare (previously CalHospitalCompare), a statewide rating system operated by the California Healthcare Foundation. This website repeats the measures from HospitalCompare and incorporates other measures. In data available on the website as of January 2014, the medical center achieved ratings of average or better on 26 of 27 rated performance measures compared to state averages. In 12 other measures, the hospital was not rated or rankings were not provided at all. The website includes case volume ratings for high-risk procedures as well.
Our commitment to quality and safety
Our UC Davis Medical Center makes a special commitment to provide safe, high-quality care for all patients. Our professional staff are at the core of our rigorous dedication to quality, and are critical to ensuring the safe care and satisfaction of our patients.
Our staff routinely earn recognitions for quality, safety and patient satisfaction even as they treat and research some of today’s most complex health conditions. Our team-care approach, which brings faculty physicians together with nurses, researchers, residents and students, technicians and staff, is just one of the many benefits we are able to offer as an academic medical center.
Maximizing our culture of safety is a collaborative effort. All staff take part in planning patient-safety measures for their respective areas and attend annual training. In addition, each clinical department maintains a quality committee that reviews individual cases for issues and identifies opportunities to improve performance.
Selected highlights from our comprehensive quality and safety measures include:
- Use of surgical checklists that help ensure all members of the operating team communicate more effectively with each other and with patients, before, during, and after an operation.
- Strict adherence to specific safety protocols for central-line catheters, the special IVs that are often used when treating very sick patients.
- Assessment of patients at risk for self-injury and falls, with checks upon admission as well as at each change of nursing shifts.
- Follow-up phone calls with our most vulnerable patients to review discharge instructions and confirm plans for follow-up care – an approach that helps reduce readmissions.
- The SpeakUp program, which formally encourages patients and families to be involved and empowered in their care, and suggests approaches for doing so.
- The Code Help program, a special telephone hotline that inpatients and families can use in the unlikely event of an emergency during the course of their care. The program is a voluntary, proactive layer of safety introduced to help prevent negative outcomes before they occur.
- Formal education for new doctors about proven quality and safety practices (including many practices pioneered at medical schools and teaching hospitals) through their regular curricula and other avenues.
- Review of emerging safety findings from medical journals and institutions, helping to identify and implement best practices.
- Regular self-monitoring of our work and progress on patient quality and safety, including reporting to other academic medical centers to compare performance and share best practices.
- Participation with other UC medical centers in The Joint Commission’s patient-safety program, which focuses on hand hygiene. The Joint Commission accredits hospitals and is widely considered the nation’s predominant health standards-setting body.
- Participation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Partnership for Patients, a $1 billion patient-safety initiative aimed at reducing patient-care injuries and reducing hospital readmissions. The public-private collaboration includes hospitals, employers, health plans, physicians, nurses and patient advocates.
- Continuous monitoring and review of every case to identify and eliminate all possible causes of hospital-acquired conditions – with the goal of preventing them entirely.