Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. Photo courtesy of the Scripps Health

Five San Diego area hospitals received A grades in the annual Hospital Safety Score released Monday by the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit focused on quality healthcare.

The local medical facilities with the top grades were UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest, Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center in Grantville, UC San Diego Thornton Hospital and Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center in La Jolla, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, and Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside.

B grades went to Scripps Mercy Hospitals in Chula Vista and Hillcrest, Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, and Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas. None of the 16 major medical facilities in the region scored lower than a C.

The Leapfrog Group assigned letter grades to more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals after assessing medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections.

Along with the study, the Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality estimated the number of avoidable deaths nationwide at hospitals in each grade level.

The analysis found that despite considerable improvement in the safety of hospital care since the safety score’s launch four years ago, avoidable deaths remain high. Compared to hospitals with A grades, the findings pointed to a 9 percent higher risk of avoidable death in B hospitals, 35 percent higher in C hospitals, and 50 percent higher in D and F hospitals, the report said.

Overall, California ranked 37th in the U.S. in the portion of hospitals receiving As, with 23 percent. Vermont was first at 83 percent, and Alaska, the District of Columbia and Wyoming last with none.

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