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UC San Diego Health System Earns Top Grade in Patient Safety


November 10, 2014  |  

Updating its unique Hospital Safety Score, which assigns A, B, C, D and F grades to hospitals nationwide based on their ability to prevent errors, injuries and infections, UC San Diego Health System has again been awarded separate A ratings for its hospitals in Hillcrest and La Jolla by The Leapfrog Group, an independent industry watchdog.

Of the approximately 5,700 hospitals in the U.S., 790 earned an A Hospital Safety ScoreSM. 108 hospitals in California received an A. The A grades for UC San Diego Health System place it among the safest hospitals in the United States.

“We are honored and gratified that UC San Diego Health System has again received Leapfrog’s highest grade for patient safety,” said Paul Viviano, CEO, UC San Diego Health System. “These national safety scores reflect the deep and continuous commitment of UC San Diego Health System employees to provide specialized lifesaving care in a safe and patient-centered environment.”

Both UC San Diego Health System hospitals – UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest and the Thornton Hospital and Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center in La Jolla – were also given A grades in the April ratings this year.

The Hospital Safety Score is compiled under the guidance of experts on patient safety and administered by The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit group. Scores are based on 15 “process” measures and 13 “outcome” measures of publicly available hospital safety data. Review areas include surgery protocols, infection controls, staffing levels and standardized procedures for establishing and maintaining safety levels. The findings are peer-reviewed and published in the Journal of Patient Safety.

“Consumers have largely taken the time to educate themselves about health care insurance plans and pricing,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog. “Now, we need patients to take the next step, putting safety first, for themselves and their families, and that means seeking out the safest hospitals in their area. The Hospital Safety Score arms consumers with that information.”

The Hospital Safety Score is fully transparent. Its website provides full analysis of data and methodology used in determining grades. To see how the UC San Diego Health System score compares locally and nationally, and to access safety tips for patients, visit

About The Leapfrog Group

The Hospital Safety Score is an initiative of The Leapfrog Group, 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.

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Jackie Carr

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