Thirty-one of 33 Kaiser Permanente medical centers included in the report received A grades (94 percent). The two others received a B (6 percent).
“Kaiser Permanente is committed to providing high-quality, affordable health care to its members and to improve the health of the members and communities it serves,” said Doug Bonacum, vice president of Quality, Safety and Resource Management at Kaiser Permanente and board member for the National Patient Safety Foundation. “As part of that mission, we are dedicated to providing the safest hospital care anywhere. This latest Leapfrog report affirms that Kaiser Permanente is on the right track. We are pleased to be considered among the safest hospitals in the United States.”
Kaiser Permanente’s rating in this report represents an improvement over the previous rating, where 26 of Kaiser Permamente’s 29 hospitals that were included in the report received an A grade, and three received a B.
The Leapfrog Group, a coalition of public and private purchasers of employee health coverage, created the Hospital Safety Score 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 based on 26 variables, including rates of infections, medication mix-ups and health care-acquired injuries.
Leapfrog’s first-ever report in June primarily used 2010 data, and only issued A, B, or C grades, withholding failing grades to give low-performing hospitals an opportunity to improve. This new report, based primarily on 2011 data, also assigned failing grades. Twenty-five hospitals across the country received an F. While Kaiser Permanente hospitals again were rated among the safest in the country, with 94 percent getting an A grade, hospitals nationwide fared much worse. Only 30 percent of the 2,618 medical centers in the survey were rated with an A grade, and only 26 percent more received a B. In California, it was about the same. Of the 246 hospitals in California that were graded, just 37 percent received an A, and 23 percent received a B. The complete list of Leapfrog Hospital Safety Scores can be found at www.hospitalsafetys core.org.
Kaiser Permanente operates 37 hospitals. Four Kaiser Permanente hospitals were not graded in the survey because they lacked sufficient volume in certain measures used in Leapfrog’s scoring.