When the very first subdivisions in the Temecula area started going up in the 1960s and 1970s, the closest hospitals were a decent car ride away – children of some of the earliest residents of what was then known as Rancho California were born at Fallbrook Hospital, 20 minutes to the southwest. Today, it’s been about five years since that hospital shut down, but southwest Riverside County had grown tremendously, and there are now many more healthcare options a lot closer to home.
But how good is each of these hospitals?
The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit that represents health care purchasers such as employer, releases hospital safety grades annually. Each of more than 2,000 hospitals across the country are assigned a letter grade from A-F. These rankings are accessible online at www.hospitalsafetygrade.org.
Here is how the hospitals of Southwest Riverside County fared:
Temecula Valley Hospital, Temecula – B
This hospital has received A scores since 2016, but dropped down to a B in fall 2019. It had some problems with infections, including with MRSA, a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics. It also had some difficulty in practices to prevent errors, like handwashing. However, it mostly avoided major problems with surgery and mostly had good communication and leadership from staff.
Rancho Springs Medical Center, Murrieta – B
This hospital has earned C grades in the past and even scored as low as an F in 2016, but has recently gotten its scores up to As in 2018 and 2019 before dropping back down to a B in fall 2019. Rancho Springs did not fare as well as Temecula Valley in terms of communication and responsiveness of healthcare staff, but otherwise was mostly similar. Its ranking is a mixed bag, with some surgery and infections problems, but no across-the-board poor ratings.
Inland Valley Medical Center, Wildomar – B
The oldest hospital in southwest Riverside County, this hospital received Cs and one F between 2016 and 2017. It increased its scores to As and Bs over the last two years. It scored mostly well with infections, but had some surgery problems such as accidental cuts and tears. It scored well in handwashing but poorly in communication about medicine and hospital discharge. It also had some safety problems with bed sores and patient falls and injuries.
Loma Linda University Medical Center, Murrieta – C
This hospital has received mostly C scores since 2016, with a couple of Bs between 2016 and 2017. It had an issue with urinary tract infections but otherwise fared well with infections. It had issues with objects left in bodies after surgery and with breathing problems developing after surgery, as well as problems with bed sores, patient falls and communication from healthcare staff.
Menifee Global Medical Center, Menifee – C
This hospital has consistently scored C or below over the last four years, even receiving F and D grades between 2017 and 2018. It had some instances of breathing problems developing after surgery and surgical wounds splitting open, but otherwise fared well with surgeries. Its primary problems included patient falls and injuries, as well as communication from staff.
Hemet Valley Medical Center, Hemet – C
This hospital scored a D and two Fs between 2017 and 2018 and has received Cs since then. It had some problems with infections. It scored well with some surgery problems but marginally struggled with collapsed lungs and complications after surgery, and scored significantly below average with serious breathing problems developing after surgery. It also had issues with communication and patient falls and injuries.
Will Fritz can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.