Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance earned the top grade for patient safety in a study by a national advocacy group

June 08, 2012

Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance, named earlier this year to a list of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals, earned the top grade for patient safety in a study released this week by a national advocacy group.

Weighing performances on safety measures at more than 2,600 hospitals nationwide, The Leapfrog Group, gave PLCMMCT an “A,” ranking the medical center among the top 25 percent in the nation for patient safety.

“Our physicians and staff continue to build upon excellence, performing at the highest level to provide top quality care. At the same time, they also work hard as a team to ensure the safety of each and every patient,” said Liz Dunne, the hospital’s chief executive.

Leapfrog graded hospitals, including 264 in California, according to performance on a series of safety measures ranging from simple hand-washing to policies to guard against errors in surgery. Scores were based on 26 publicly reported measures, preventable hospital conditions such as infections, falls, medication mix-ups, bedsores and other sources of harm.

The scores include numbers that experts use to compare hospitals. Publicly available data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, The Leapfrog Hospital Survey and secondary data sources, were weighted and then combined to produce a single, consumer-friendly composite score that was published as letter grades.

Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score utilizes national performance measures from its own survey of member hospitals, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to produce a single composite score that represents a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors. In addition, secondary data from the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey were used to give hospitals as much credit as possible toward their safety scores.

The numerical safety scores range between 0.46 and 3.94, with an average score of close to 3 and the vast majority of hospital scoring between 2 and 4.

For PLCMMCT, the top grade for patient safety comes just months after the medical center was named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals in an annual study by Thomson Reuters, a provider of information and data aimed at improving the cost and quality of health care.

Providence Health & Services, the hospital’s parent organization, is committed to safety. The Southern California Region’s five medical centers collaborate to share best practices, including safety procedures.

“We strive to practice a culture of safety not only in caring for our patients, but ensuring our visitors, physicians and employees are safe,” said Richard A. Glimp, the hospital’s chief medical officer. “Patients trust us to keep them safe from harm and to care for them with skill and compassion. They deserve no less.”