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UCLA Medical Center gets failing grade for patient safety

by AirTalk®

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Ronald Reagan UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) Medical Center is seen on October 9, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. David McNew/Getty Images

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious hospitals in the United States. The medical center ranked in the top five in U.S. News and World Report’s 2012-2013 national Best Hospitals ranking, but more recently one healthcare quality rating group gave UCLA an F in patient safety.

Leapfrog, a nonprofit group focused on healthcare quality, announced this week that the hospital gets a failing grade when it comes to preventing medical errors, patient infections and deaths. Leapfrog withheld issuing a grade to UCLA in June in order to give the hospital and other low-performers time to improve.

Officials at UCLA disputed the failing grade and said one patient death in 2010 unfairly lowered its grade from a C to an F under Leapfrog’s standards.

How could a widely respected hospital even come close to failing on patient safety? Are there serious safety problems at UCLA Medical Center or has Leapfrog exaggerated a insignificant statistic?

Leapfrog Group Scoring Methodology


Leah Binder, CEO of Leapfrog Group, a hospital ratings organization based in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Jan Emerson-Shea, Vice President of External Relations, California Hospital Association

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