JOSHUA TREE — Hi-Desert Medical Center was awarded an A grade in the latest report from a national nonprofit that assesses hospital safety.

The fall 2019 hospital safety grade from Leapfrog recognizes Hi-Desert Medical Center’s achievements protecting patients from harm and providing safer health care.

“This rating recognizes our continuous commitment to placing safety at the forefront of our patients’ care,” Hi-Desert Medical Center CEO Karen Faulis said.

“I am so proud of the health care professionals at Hi-Desert Medical Center for their continued focus on providing exceptional patient care every day.”

The Leapfrog Group is an independent national watchdog organization.

It assigns safety grades of A, B, C, D or F to all general hospitals across the country based on their performance in preventing medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections and other harms to patients in their care.

The latest grade awarded Hi-Desert Medical Center is a big jump up from its past ratings, which dropped from a C in spring 2018 to a D in fall 2018. By spring of this year, the hospital had worked up to a B before earning its A grade this fall.

The latest report found that HDMC is above average in preventing problems with surgery including collapsed lungs, serious breathing problems, dangerous objects left in a patient’s body and accidental cuts and tears. It is average in the number of surgical wounds that split open and below average in dangerous blood clots.

The hospital was above average in its practices to prevent errors, like safely administering and communicating about medicine, and teamwork among the staff to prevent errors.

It also performed above the national average in its low number of dangerous bed sores and patient falls and injuries.

In staffing categories, it ranked above average in responsiveness of the hospital staff and providing enough qualified nurses, but it ranked below average in two doctor categories: providing specially trained doctors to care for patients in the intensive care unit, and how well patients felt their doctors listened to them, explained things clearly and treated them with courtesy.

Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs got a C for its hospital safety grade this fall.

The entire report card is available at www.hospitalsafetygrade.org.

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