OAKLAND, Calif., April 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Surgical errors are a fact of life – and death -- in operating rooms and hospitals around the country. According to a major university study, foreign objects are left inside a patient 39 times a week, and surgeries are performed on the wrong side or site of a patient another 20 times a week. While all U.S. hospitals are working diligently to eliminate these events – called "never events" or "serious reportable adverse events" – some, like Kaiser Permanente, have had much more success than others.
According to the Leapfrog Group's just-released Hospital Safety Scores, 81 percent of Kaiser Permanente hospitals received an "A" grade, while nationally only 30 percent of non-Kaiser Permanente hospitals received an "A". The Hospital Safety Score, considered the gold standard for rating patient safety in the U.S., is an analysis 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's perseverance at eliminating "never events" through evidence-based care, regular systems checks, and rigorous performance improvement has recently led to two major medical center milestones: 1,000 days (37,000 consecutive procedures) without any such surgical event at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center and 2,000 days (nearly 5 ½ years) without a perinatal "never event" at Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center.
"The ratings by the Leapfrog Group once again demonstrate that our patients and members can trust that they are receiving care in an environment in which all of the physicians, nurses, and care givers are focused on delivering the safest care possible to each patient," said Amy Compton-Phillips, chief quality officer, The Permanente Federation, the national umbrella organization of nearly 18,000 physicians.
The Leapfrog Group, a coalition of public and private purchasers of employee health coverage, created the Hospital Safety Score in 2012 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.
Thirty-six of Kaiser Permanente's 38 hospitals were graded. Two new hospitals ‒ in San Leandro, Calif., and Hillsboro, Ore. – are less than two years old and did not have sufficient data to report. Of the Kaiser Permanente hospitals that were rated, 29 received "A" grades, and six received "B" grades, and one had a "C" grade.
"Kaiser Permanente's unrelenting commitment to patient safety is thanks to a culture of continuous improvement, evidence-based care, and personalized service provided by everyone involved," said Patrick Courneya, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. "Our continued vigilance on patient safety promotes proactive prevention of illness and better treatment of chronic conditions."
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:
Kaiser Permanente Medicare health plans received No. 1 rankings for 2014 in 21 effectiveness-of-care measures, far more than any other health plan in the nation, according to the National Committee for Quality Assurance's Quality Compass® dataset.
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, Kaiser Permanente has a mission 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 9.6 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.