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California's hospitals face steep declines in standard of care

A study released by the employer-backed health care watchdog, The Leapfrog Group, suggests that the quality of health care offered in California has significantly declined. The most recent statistics put out by the nonprofit organization in April of 2017 show that nearly one half of all California hospitals performed at either a C level or below in terms of patient safety during this past year.

The group's statistics are seen as an indicator of just how high of a risk any one facility's practices pose in terms of causing patient death or injury. The organization's hope is that, in publishing these statistics, consumers will be able to make more informed choices about their own health care.

As a state, California hospitals have experienced a steady decline in performance during the past two years. In the spring of 2015, 37 percent of 271 California medical facilities assessed were deemed to have received either C, D or F grades. Now, two years later, 46 percent are performing at or below average. Of all those, California is home to six of the nation's 10 hospitals that received a grade of F.

San Bernardino County is one of the few counties in the state that has seen an uptick in their score. The most recent statistics show that at least nine of its hospitals received a score higher than a C. Seven, or 44 percent, of hospitals received a score of C or lower.

Two area hospitals, Kaiser Permanente Ontario and Fontana Medical Centers, received a grade of A. One county-run hospital, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, saw an increase in their score from a F in previous years to a C this one.

Failing California hospitals struggle with preventing careless medical errors and keeping risk of infection at bay. In one instance, with Redlands Community Hospital, they successfully upped their own score to a B this year by focusing their efforts on reducing the incidence rate of C. difficile infection among patients. This serious illness can cause debilitating abdominal pain and diarrhea that can become fatal if left untreated.

Whether caused by unclean facilities or a doctor's momentary lapse in judgment, medical errors can result in catastrophic injuries or death. If you suspect that your injury or loved one's death has resulted from some type of negligence, then you may find the advice that a San Bernardino medical malpractice attorney can provide in your legal matter to be invaluable.

Source: San Bernadino Sun, "Quality of care declines in California hospitals, watchdogs say," Chad Terhune, accessed June 08, 2017

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