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UCLA Medical Center Gets ‘F’ In Hospital Safety Survey

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CBS Los Angeles (con't)

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WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — One of the Southland’s most prestigious hospitals received a failing grade for patient safety in a survey released Wednesday.

KNX 1070’s Margaret Carrero reports at least one industry official is skeptical of the survey’s findings.

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center was given an “F” grade by The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit organization which assigned A, B, C, D or F scores to U.S. hospitals based on preventable medical errors, injuries, and accidents.

The findings surprised Ray Donin, who said she’s spent two and a half years undergoing cancer treatment at UCLA.

“I think they’ve given me very, very, very, very good care,” Donin said.

The “Hospital Safety Score” was based on incidents that occurred between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2011, including “Death From Serious Treatable Complications After Surgery”, “Collapsed Lung Due to Medical Treatment”, and “Breathing Failure After Surgery”.

Physician staffing at the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was also given a 5 out of a possible 100 score, compared with a nationwide average of 23.

“I think everybody that heard that grade would, it raises some eyebrows and perplexes many people how could we get that grade,” said UCLA medical student Ramy Salah. “They have great facilities there, great doctors that we can learn from.”

UCLA released the following statement: “While we appreciate Leapfrog’s efforts to provide important hospital safety information to the public, the problem with nearly all of the hospital report cards promoted by various organizations is that there is no consistency.”

For example, U.S. News & World Report in July named UCLA Medical Center the best hospital in California and Los Angeles and the fifth-best hospital in the nation.

But despite the failing grade, Jan Emerson Shea, Vice President with the California Hospital Association, said the different criteria for each individual survey makes it difficult to make standardized comparisons.

“Do not make any kind of decision or judgment about any specific hospital based on any one of these report cards,” Emerson Shea said.

Two other highly-respected local facilities, Cedars Sinai Medical Center and Los Angeles County University of Southern California, received a “C” grade.

Emerson Shea said that hospitals that participated in the survey appear to have fared better than those that did not.

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