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California Hospitals Perform Poorly In Medical Error Study

A recent study by the “Leapfrog Group,” a group that evaluates how well hospitals perform, has determined that 41% of California hospitals receive a grade of C or lower. The Leapfrog Group looks at hospitals with the hopes of encouraging hospitals to take action to reduce preventable medical injuries and deaths.

The reality is that although the United States spends more per person than any other nation, the quality of our health care at many hospitals falls short. Statistics place the number of preventable injuries and deaths at a staggering 98,000 per year in the United States. A “preventable injury or death” is considered an adverse event that is caused as the result of deficient medical care and management, rather than as the result of an underlying health condition.

If you believe you or a loved one has suffered a serious preventable injury while in the hospital, it is important to consult with a Stockton personal injury attorney right away to review your matter and determine your next steps. Where a hospital, physician or other medical staff is found responsible for causing you harm, it may be possible to recover compensation for your damages. This may include such items as your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost past and future wages and emotional distress.

The Leapfrog preventable medical error study provided these first-ever scores in an effort that consumers and employers become aware of hospital that provide poor patient quality of care. A listing of the ratings of all of the California hospital can be found at

Nationwide, 47% of the 2,652 hospitals that were graded received a C or below, including some big-name institutions such as Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Despite recent efforts by many hospitals to improve the number of medical mistakes, including patient-safety initiatives such as implementing electronic medical record keeping, hand-washing protocols, checklists and other strategies, little real progress has been made in protecting patients from harm.

A representative of Leapfrog analogizes the number of patient deaths per day from medical errors to that of daily airplane crashes noting, “If an airline was crashing and killing 400 people every day, we would have made a lot of progress in the last decade … Without public pressure this won’t become a top priority for hospital leaders.”

In an effort to mimic the success of restaurant rating systems, Leapfrog embarked on its hospital rankings, working with leading patient safety experts to analyze 26 different hospital measures evaluating infection rates, medication errors and other relevant data.

In California, Leapfrog graded 264 hospitals and gave a C or lower to 41% of them. It handed out A’s to 97 facilities, Bs to 58 and Cs to 83. An additional 26 hospitals ranked even lower. Leapfrog didn’t issue a letter grade for them and said it will give those lowest performers until November to show improvement before issuing them a D or F.

Observers note, this is a huge breakthrough for consumers, explaining that while hospital advertising may tout the latest medical wing or other marketing feat, the reality is that they may have good hospital safety scores.

For more information about California hospital safety, or if you believe a loved one may have been injured as the result of a medical error, contact the dedicated Stockton personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate consultation.