VISALIA – Kaweah Delta Medical Center has earned an “A,” the top grade for patient safety in the latest Hospital Safety Score. The score rates how well hospitals protect patients from accidents, errors, injuries and infections.
Meanwhile in the same national ranking Tulare Regional Medical Center earned a ‘D’ grade as did Hanford Medical Center. Porterville’s Sierra Vista got a ‘C’ grade.All three had the same grade last year.
About 40% of California hospitals received a ‘C’ grade or lower.
“This ‘A’ recognizes the dramatic improvements we’ve made in quality of care and patient safety. We’re proud of this honor, but our goal will always be to improve our performance in the future for our patients,” said Lindsay Mann, Chief Executive Officer of Kaweah Delta Health Care District.
Kaweah Delta’s performance improved from last year when it got a B rating.
Kaweah Delta is one of 31 percent of hospitals across the country who received As in Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score. The Visalia-based hospital raised its safety score an entire grade level from last year through a variety of initiatives that educated staff about best practices for patient safety. Clinical leadership and frontline staff implemented best practices to reduce surgical complications. Additionally, staff members have continued safe practices such as work to prevent hospital acquired infections, pressure ulcers, falls and more, said Sandra Volchko, Director of Performance Improvement and Patient Safety at Kaweah Delta.
“It’s up to us to have processes in place, and we do, to make sure that when patients come into the hospital they don’t leave with something such as an infection or injury. We wouldn’t be an ‘A’ without those,” Volchko said.
The Hospital Safety Score is the gold standard rating for patient safety, compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading patient safety experts and administered by The Leapfrog Group (Leapfrog), an independent industry watchdog. The only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety, the score is free to the public and designed to give consumers information they can use to protect themselves and their families when facing a hospital stay.
Kaweah Delta’s A grade validates its achievement in preventing harm within the hospital, said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, which administers the Hospital Safety Score. “We are proud to recognize the efforts of the care providers and staff at Kaweah Delta,” Binder said. “Patient safety requires constant vigilance, and we encourage Kaweah Delta to continue demonstrating unrelenting commitment to patients by consistently providing a safe environment for care.”
Developed under the guidance of Leapfrog’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single A, B, C, D, or F score. This score represents a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm. More than 2,500 U.S. general hospitals were assigned scores in April 2015.
The Hospital Safety Score is fully transparent, offering a full analysis of the data and methodology used in determining grades on the website. To see Kaweah Delta’s score, visit www.hospitalsafetyscore.org.