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Glendale Adventist continues its streak of high marks in hospital safety report

Once again, only one hospital in the Glendale area earned the highest marks in a study conducted by a national hospital-safety organization.

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., awarded its sixth straight A grade to Adventist Health Glendale, according to results released Tuesday. Leapfrog awards hospital safety grades twice a year based on a number of criteria that measure the quality of patient safety.

Of the 2,632 hospitals graded in the latest results, 832 earned an A, 662 received a B, 964 got a C, 159 were given a D and 15 received an F. According to a report on Leapfrog’s methodology, the data pulled from Medicare and other agencies to generate a composite score can be several years old.

Adventist excelled in the categories for “practices to prevent errors” and “problems with surgery,” but scored mostly below average when it came to infections, according to the report.

In a statement, the hospital said it is proud of its scores.

“It is evident that our physicians, nurses and associates are committed to providing excellent care, while maintaining good communication and transparency in all processes,” said Despina Kayichian, vice president of Medical Affairs and Quality at Adventist Glendale. “We want our community members to feel confident that … we put patient safety first so they can have peace of mind when their loved ones are being treated at our hospital.”

Adventist Health Glendale was also ranked No. 16 in the Los Angeles metro area and No. 28 in California in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” list for 2017-18 in August.

Both Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital and USC Verdugo Hills Hospital received C grades.

Glendale Memorial officials said in a statement that patient care and safety is a top priority at the facility.

The hospital also expressed concerns about Leapfrog’s approach, stating it “oversimplifies” in measuring hospital quality.

“The 30 measures identified by the Leapfrog Group for improving quality and patient safety may help improve patient-safety outcomes, but they are neither the best nor the only indicators of an institution’s quality,” said Jason Black, chief nurse executive at Glendale Memorial.

Glendale Memorial scored above average in the “safety problems” and “problems with surgery” categories, but performed mostly below average in measuring doctors, nurses and hospital staff, according to the report.

Also recently, HealthGrades, an online resource for information about physicians and hospitals, released results for its evaluations, and Glendale Memorial received recognition for its knee surgeries and cardiac-valve surgeries.

For USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, there were shortcomings in the rate of infections during stays in its intensive-care unit as well as communication with and responsiveness with hospital staff, according to the Leapfrog study.

The USC hospital, however, scored above average in safety categories that measured the reduction of risks for patients.

Verdugo Hills officials said in a statement that the facility is committed to the “highest standards of patient safety and delivery of care,” and it continues to look at ways to “maximize the quality of care” the hospital provides.

“As a result, we have improved our scores across multiple patient safety indicators, which are not reflected in the most recent hospital safety grade from the Leapfrog Group,” according to the statement. “Our quality improvements have been noted through other rating systems, and we recently implemented a hospital list program to provide patients with 24-hour hospital-based medical expertise.”

jeff.landa@latimes.com

Twitter: @JeffLanda

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