Cal Hospital Compare (CHC), a nonprofit organization that provides Californians with hospital performance ratings, today announced statewide honor rolls for opioid stewardship, maternity care and patient safety, with Scripps Health earning multiple spots on all three lists.
“This recognition demonstrates that our efforts to continue to improve patient care are succeeding in a variety of important areas,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health. “It’s rewarding to have an independent review verify we provide exceptional care for our community.”
CHC named all four of Scripps Health’s hospitals to the superior tier of this year’s Opioid Care Honor Roll, more than any other local health system. This marks the third straight year that Scripps’ hospitals — Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, Scripps Green Hospital and Scripps Mercy Hospital (San Diego and Chula Vista campuses) — have been ranked in the list’s top category. Scripps is the only health care organization in San Diego County to have sustained its superior ranking for at least two years.
The Opioid Care Honor Roll recognizes 85 California hospitals for meeting performance standards in opioid stewardship. Participating hospitals submitted a self-assessment covering eight questions across four domains of care. The domains included safe and effective opioid use, identifying and treating patients with opioid use disorder, overdose prevention, and applying opioid management best practices that influence the success of the first three domains.
CHC recognized Scripps for taking a variety of approaches to address overuse of opioids among its patients. Scripps has consistently decreased the number of opioid prescriptions per patient hospital discharge and reduced opioid prescriptions that exceed seven days. It also has increased its use of alternative pain management options, such as non-opioid medications, aromatherapy, music therapy and pet therapy.
Additionally, Scripps expanded its medication-assisted therapy programs at its hospital emergency departments, where physicians can administer medications such as buprenorphine as a bridge for patients with opioid use disorder until they can receive further care in the community. Scripps experienced a 40% increase in buprenorphine prescriptions in its EDs from 2021 to 2022. During the same time period, Scripps saw a 24% rise in prescriptions written for naloxone, which is used to reverse opioid overdoses.
Scripps also has added fentanyl testing to its standard multi-drug test panel administered to patients in its emergency departments. Such screening provides vital information to doctors and patients, who may not otherwise be aware an ingested drug contained fentanyl. This knowledge can lead to lifestyle changes, addiction treatment or a prescription to naloxone.
Three Scripps hospital campuses were named to CHC’s Maternity Care Honor Roll, more than any other local health care provider: Scripps Encinitas, Scripps Mercy San Diego and Scripps Mercy Chula Vista.
CHC’s Maternity Care Honor Roll recognizes 107 California hospitals that met the 23.6% statewide target for births via cesarean sections in first-time mothers with low-risk pregnancies. Since CHC’s Maternity Care Honor Roll was first published in 2016, Scripps Mercy San Diego has been recognized for seven straight years. Scripps Encinitas has made the list each of the past six years and Scripps Mercy Chula Vista has been included for the past five.
According to CHC, overuse of C-sections can result in higher rates of complications for both mothers and newborns. CHC reports that California hospitals have made progress in lowering C-section rates in recent years, avoiding an estimated 36,852 C-sections from 2016 to 2023.
The CHC Patient Safety Honor Roll includes Scripps La Jolla and Scripps Green.
Statewide, the Patient Safety Honor Roll recognizes 82 adult, acute-care hospitals with high safety profiles. Hospitals were evaluated using objective, publicly available safety measures across various domains, including hospital-acquired infections, adverse patient safety events, sepsis management, patient experience and Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades.
Earlier this year, all five of Scripps’ hospital campuses received “A” grades for patient safety from the Leapfrog Group, an independent national watchdog organization.
Learn more about Scripps Health, a nonprofit integrated health system in San Diego, Calif.