Providence St. Joseph receives better grade for its patient safety

Providence St. Joseph Medical Center received improved marks on the quality of its service but struggled in a few categories, according to a study by a national hospital-safety organization.

The nonprofit Leapfrog Group gave the Burbank hospital a B grade, according to results released late last month. It is a step up from the D grade the hospital received from the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit this past spring.


In a statement, Providence St. Joseph officials said the Catholic-based hospital has been focusing on the quality of its care.

"This is a tremendous accomplishment, as we jumped two letter grades since the last grading period," said Patricia Aidem, a spokeswoman for Providence Health & Services, the parent company that runs Providence St. Joseph. "This designation takes a strong, dedicated commitment from every caregiver in the hospital."

Aidem added that the hospital has adopted high reliability organization principles to create a system that strives to improve patient safety.

"In aligning with our core values to provide safe, compassionate and reliable care, we are confident that these strategies are aimed to further improve patient safety results and care for our patients, which will ultimately be reflected in the hospital survey scores for our hospital," Aidem said.

Leapfrog awards hospitals across the country with two grades each year — one in the spring and one in the fall — based on several categories that measure patient safety and service quality at each facility.

In 2016, St. Joseph's received C and D grades in the spring and fall, respectively.

The hospital excelled in several areas, including receiving high scores for preventing air or gas bubbles in the blood during procedures, being aware of potential errors that can harm patients and not leaving objects in patients' bodies, according to the Leapfrog study.

The facility also received above-average scores for minimal cases of surgical wounds splitting open, bed sores and MRSA infections, which is an infection caused by a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics.

However, St. Joseph's performed poorly in some categories, including having patients develop breathing problems after surgery, patients dying from serious treatable complications after surgery and patients developing a urinary-tract infection if they had a catheter inserted, according to the study.

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