Reagan UCLA Medical Center disputes poor rating's validity


It's considered by many to be one of the finest hospitals in the country, but a new report published by a nonprofit group says Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center gets a failing grade when it comes to patient safety.

Missy Danforth is in charge of hospital ratings for the Leapfrog Group, which ranks hospitals nationwide. Danforth says the survey focuses specifically on patient safety by compiling statistics on hospital accidents, errors and infections.

"We think this is an important piece of information for those people to use before they decide which hospital they're going to choose for themselves or their family," said Danfoth.

But a spokeswoman for Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center disputes the validity of the survey. The hospital released a statement Wednesday reads in part:

"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. The same hospital can rank high on one report card and low on another report card."

The association that represents California hospitals agrees.

"We have a great concern about all of these various so-called 'hospital report cards' that have been issued over the last few months," said California Hospital Association spokeswoman Jan Emerson-Shea. She says giving Ronald Reagan Medical Center a failing grade makes no sense.

"Frankly, all these various report cards are doing is serving to cause confusion among consumers," said Emerson-Shea.

But Leapfrog says it uses 26 different measures of publicly available data to arrive at its hospital rating, and it stands by its methodology.

"Still, their methodology that nobody has necessarily said 'This is the right way,'" said Emerson-Shea.

Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center was one of 25 hospitals nationwide to receive an "F". Cedars-Sinai Medical Center received a "C," down from an "A" rating in June.

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