OAKLAND, Calif., April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly all Kaiser Permanente medical centers (pdf) included in The Leapfrog Group's biannual Hospital Safety Score report received an "A" grade, demonstrating once again that keeping patients safe is among the organization's top priorities.
Of the 37 Kaiser Permanente medical centers included in this week's report, 35 received "A" grades for patient safety, and the other two received "B" grades.
"Our outstanding performance in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Score ratings reflects Kaiser Permanente's continued commitment to providing high-quality care," said Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente. "Patient safety is a top priority for Kaiser Permanente, and this recognition is a tribute to the important work being done by our physicians, nurses, clinicians and care teams."
While nearly all of Kaiser Permanente's medical centers (95 percent) included in the report received an "A" grade, the majority of the nation's hospitals, notably those in California, did not fare as well:
Of the 2,522 hospitals nationwide included in the report, only 32 percent (804) received an "A" grade.
In California, it was only slightly better. Among the 218 non-Kaiser Permanente hospitals in the state, only 33 percent (71) received an "A" grade.
Typical of Kaiser Permanente's intense focus on patient safety was a recent program that resulted in a 62 percent reduction of hospital-acquired clostridium difficile infection since 2008. Standardization of infection-reducing practices led to the remarkable results, including the elimination of nearly 3,000 cases of C. diff and saving at least 500 lives in Kaiser Permanente's Northern California operations alone. The findings are in large part why Kaiser Permanente last year received Platinum Honors for Health Care Consumer Engagement and Protection by URAC, one of the nation's leading health-care accreditation organizations and an important advocate for health-care quality and patient safety.
The Leapfrog Group, a coalition of public and private purchasers of employee health coverage, created the Hospital Safety Score to help consumers decide which hospitals to go to and which to avoid. The report card assigns an A, B, C, D or F letter grade to hospitals based on 28 variables, including rates of infections, medication mix-ups and health care-acquired injuries. It uses data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the American Hospital Association and its own Leapfrog survey.
"Kaiser Permanente is committed to a sustained, concerted effort on improving patient safety," said Amy Compton-Phillips, MD, associate executive director for Quality at The Permanente Federation, the national umbrella organization of 17,000 physicians who provide care to Kaiser Permanente's members. "Our superior ratings in this report reflect how all of us at Kaiser Permanente are dedicated to preventing illness, detection of disease and better treatment of chronic conditions."
Kaiser Permanente operates 38 hospitals — 35 in California, two in Oregon and one in Hawaii. In this new report, based primarily on 2013 data, one Kaiser Permanente hospital, Westside Medical Center (Hillsboro, Ore.), which opened in mid-2013, was not covered by the report because it was too new to be included.
This Leapfrog Hospital Safety Score honor is the most recent in a string of accolades for patient safety, quality and service earned by Kaiser Permanente hospitals and health plans. In the past year:
The Leapfrog Group named 19 Kaiser Permanente hospitals as 2013 "Top Hospitals," an honor that recognizes medical centers for their outstanding success in areas such as reducing infection rates, safety practices, mortality rates for common procedures and measures of efficiency.
Kaiser Permanente Medicare and Commercial health plans received No. 1 rankings for 2013 in 29 effectiveness-of-care measures (13 for commercial plans, 16 for Medicare plans), far more than any other health plan in the nation, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance's Quality Compass® dataset.
Kaiser Permanente's Medicare health plans received a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the highest ranking possible, in all of its geographical regions.
The Leapfrog Group (www.leapfroggroup.org) is a national nonprofit organization using 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.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 9.1 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.