Only one hospital in or around Glendale aced a twice-yearly hospital safety report card, while three others earned middling grades.
Glendale Adventist once again earned an A from Washington, D.C.-based Leapfrog Group, an organization that advocates for hospital patient safety.
Leapfrog bases its assessments on a host of criteria, including the chances of contracting infections and patients falls during a hospital stay.
Glendale Adventist earned its third straight A dating to spring 2015.
Hospital Chief Executive Kevin Roberts said Glendale Adventist employs “best practices.”
Key factors he cited include 24-hour physician presence in the intensive care unit and regular room visits by nurses, Roberts said.
“Nurses check on the patients every hour, and during those rounds they make sure the patient’s needs are anticipated rather than waiting for something bad to happen,” he said.
Dignity Healthy Glendale Memorial, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital and Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center received Cs.
The Leapfrog score is based on an average of 30 categories. Glendale Adventist received its highest marks for having “enough qualified nurses” and “training to improve safety,” but fell short in “infections in the urinary tract during [intensive care unit] stay.”
Dignity Health Glendale Memorial has consistently earned C grades since 2013, and this time received low marks for categories like “hand washing” and “staff accurately record patient medications.”
Chief Nurse Executive Liza Abcede said while the hospital welcomes review from outside agencies, Leapfrog’s assessment didn’t get the full picture.
“The  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,” she wrote in a statement.
Abcede touted other honors and recognitions Dignity Health Glendale Memorial has received, including the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award. Healthgrades also ranked the hospital among the top 10% in terms of patient safety for hospitals nationwide.
USC Verdugo Hills earned its second straight C. While Leapfrog praised the hospital for treating collapsed lungs and “staff working together to prevent errors,” it fell short in preventing bedsores and preventing ventilator problems.
In a statement, USC Verdugo Hills said it is working to improve patient safety and that the Leapfrog methodology is out of date.
“Our dedicated efforts have resulted in reduced hospital-acquired infection rates and improvements in other patient-safety indicators, which are not reflected in the most recent hospital-safety score,” the statement read.
Indeed, the information Leapfrog accesses from Medicare and other agencies can be several years old, said Erica Mobley, Leapfrog’s director of communications.
Nicholas Testa, the chief medical officer at Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank, said the most recent data is more than a year old and that his staff is working hard to prevent hospital-acquired infections.
Providence St. Joseph’s earned a C grade, a drop from the B in fall 2015.
The Burbank hospital received low marks for communication with doctors and nurses, but Testa said all employees at the hospital have been learning a new uniform mode of communication to improve response times.
Providence St. Joseph’s is also working to implement best safety practices from related industries.
“We look at the things that people do every single day that can change our culture,” Testa said.
Arin Mikailian, firstname.lastname@example.org