It’s particularly wise to choose a safe hospital. The chance of suffering complications or death rises considerably in a hospital that rates poorly for safety. Well over 1,000 patients die every day in hospitals from preventable errors. They don’t die from any illness. They die from mistakes made by hospital staff. It’s not just the 1,000 deaths per day that are a huge cause for alarm, noted Joanne Disch, RN, clinical professor at the University Of Minnesota School Of Nursing. Speaking before Congress in July 2014, she said, “There’s also the 10,000 serious complications cases resulting from medical errors that occur each day.”
Every year about 648,000 people in the U.S. develops an infection during a hospital stay. About 75,000 die from one of those infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That means 1 out of 9 people who get an infection in the hospital will die. That’s over twice the number of folks who die each year in car crashes.
LVMC RATED AMONG 34 LOWEST RATED U.S. HOSPITALS IN 2015
In 2015 the Lompoc Valley Medical Center received an F grade from the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, placing Lompoc hospital among the lowest 34 hospitals in the U.S.
INCREASED MORTALITY RATE AT LOMPOC HOSPITAL
In 2016 hosptialstats.com reported that the mortality rate at Lompoc Valley Medical Center was worse than the national average for certain conditions. A heart attack means there will be a 16% greater chance of dying. With heart failure, there is a 13% greater chance of dying. Finally, with pneumonia, there is a 17% greater chance of dying.
Since 2015 when Lompoc hospital was among the 34 lowest Leapfrog-rated hospitals LVMC has refused to collect and submit data that helps Leapfrog calculate the level of safety at the hospital. Leapfrog is the only hospital survey that focuses exclusively on safety.
The Leapfrog heading of “Practices To Prevent Errors” lists measures reflecting the safety of the hospital.
LOMPOC HOSPITAL FAILS TO REPORT SAFETY PRACTICES SUCH AS HAND WASHING
The hospital declined to report to Leapfrog on basic safety practices like hand washing.
Transmitting infections to others in a hospital may result from doctors, nurses and other hospital staff failing to wash their hands.
The simple task of failing to wash hands can result in the spreading of the bacterium Clostridium difficile or “C-diff,” which can produce severe abdominal symptoms and diarrhea, damage the bowel itself, require surgery and even result in death.
Alarmingly, C-diff can contaminate surfaces in hospitals and remain infectious for up to six months. This makes sterilization of hands, rooms, and hospital surfaces a necessity. Failing to provide records about hand washing may mean that Lompoc hospital standards are not the best.
For the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade for the Spring of 2017 Lompoc Valley Medical Center didn’t perform well on measures derived from CMS data. (Since LVMC refused to submit original data Leapfrog relies on CMS public data.)
• Doctors order medications through a computer RATED BELOW AVERAGE
• Staff accurately record patient medications DECLINED TO REPORT
• Hand washing DECLINED TO REPORT
• Communication about medicines RATED BELOW AVERAGE
• Communication about discharge RATED BELOW AVERAGE
• Staff work together to prevent errors DECLINED TO REPORT
One hospital safety expert commented that the Lompoc hospital administrators may refuse to provide information to Leapfrog because they may know the data would result in a lower rating.
In summary, in Santa Barbara county there are other hospitals that are safer than Lompoc hospital.