Tenet Health Central Coast Nationally Recognized for Hospital Safety

Apr 29, 2021

Dear fellow community members and colleagues,

Some of you may know that I was a Naval Officer in my past career. Everything we did was about preparedness. All of our policies, drills, practices, education and orientation combined with a focus on excellence. As a Radiation Health Officer on an aircraft carrier, I gained a strong appreciation for High Reliability Organizations – and that leads me to my message to you today.

I am delighted to share with you that both Tenet Health Central Coast hospitals, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and Twin Cities Community Hospital, have received an “A” grade from The Leapfrog Group’s Spring 2021 Hospital Safety Grade, a recognition that has particular significance as we continue to battle the pandemic.

The achievement of Sierra Vista is noteworthy as our team there has achieved consecutive A’s every reporting period since the ratings first came out in 2012 – only 27 hospitals across the country have achieved straight A’s since 2012 and only three of those are in California. The Hospital Safety Grade is designed to give people information they can use to make healthcare decisions for themselves or a loved one. The Leapfrog Group assigns A, B, C, D or F grades to hospitals across the country based on their ability to prevent errors, injuries, accidents and infections. By achieving an A at each hospital, I believe it signals to our communities that we are indeed High Reliability Organizations.

While we are extremely proud of the recognitions, we believe that, for our patients’ sake and the greater Central Coast Community – it is our duty to be prepared. This includes responding to any emergency or contingency, including a worldwide pandemic, by already having the infrastructure, policies and well-trained teams in place at all times.

Although nothing important is ever easy, earning the Leapfrog “A” while responding to the pandemic certainly was possible precisely because our hospitals are agile, expert and prepared. 

A good example of this agility is how we developed and launched the only Tele-ER services for all of our Central Coast residents during the pandemic. This innovation at both hospitals is a result of patient safety being our priority. More than that, we do not consider safety as merely a guideline, or even a program or a marketing buzzword – rather, it is part of the fabric of who we are and what we do.

We have daily safety huddles, and it is a core part of our daily Gemba walks through the hospitals and Lean Management practices (Gemba is a Japanese concept of continuous improvement designed for enhancing processes). Safety is a key reason that Sierra Vista earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Thrombectomy Capable Stroke Center (TSC) Certification and that Twin Cities has Advanced Certification as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. Safety is also a key reason that Tenet Health Central Coast has the County’s only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the County’s designated Trauma Center. 

Safety is who we are as a Community Built on Care and the Leapfrog Group’s prestigious recognitions are a validation of the hard work, professionalism and caring of every single person that works at Tenet Health Central Coast.



Mark Lisa, CEO
Tenet Health Central Coast