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Kaiser Permanente named among nation's 'Top Hospitals'

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For the fourth consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente San Diego has been named among the nation's "Top Hospitals" for delivering high quality health care and patient safety with the most efficient use of resources by the Leapfrog Group, a national organization that seeks to promote improvements in health care safety, quality and affordability.

The San Diego Medical Center is the only hospital in San Diego County to be recognized in the survey, which focuses on how patients fare, resources used to care for patients, and management practices that promote safety and quality.

Nine Southern California Kaiser Permanente hospitals have also made the Top Hospital list including Downey, Fontana, Los Angeles, Orange County-Irvine, Panorama City, Riverside, and Woodland Hills.

To make the "Top Hospital" list, hospitals must meet strict standards for quality, patient safety and efficiency. Each facility honored must demonstrate effective use of computerized physician orders for medications, meet tough standards for staffing intensive care units, must perform high risk surgeries and procedures successfully and must also demonstrate efficient use of health care resources while maintaining high quality outcomes.

"It is an honor to be recognized for our commitment to providing high quality health care to the residents of San Diego," said Mary Ann Barnes, senior vice president and executive director for Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center Area. "Our talented health care team is dedicated to ensuring that we deliver the best care possible to the San Diego community we serve."

KP HealthConnect, Kaiser Permanente's 21st century electronic medical record system played a vital role in meeting the Leapfrog Group safety standards. By using computers to place hospital medication orders, physicians in Kaiser Permanente facilities were able to reduce medication errors. For example, KP HealthConnect provides same-time alerts to physicians to notify them of drug allergies, drugs that are not appropriate for pregnant women and potential adverse drug interactions. The system also eliminates errors due to the legibility of physician orders.

"Our primary goal is to focus on wellness, and to prevent serious illness that may require a hospital stay," said Paul Bernstein, MD, area medical director of the Southern California Permanente Medical Group in San Diego. "This honor gives our patients additional reassurance that they will receive the highest quality care in a safe environment when they need hospitalization," he added.

The 2013 "Top Hospital" list is made up of academic medical centers, teaching hospitals, children's hospitals and community hospitals in rural, suburban and urban settings. Of the 1,324 hospitals participating in The Leapfrog Group's annual survey, 19 Kaiser Permanente medical centers in California were among the 55 named "Top Urban Hospitals" nationally, including the following in northern California: Antioch, Fresno, Oakland, Richmond, Roseville, San Jose, Santa Clara, South San Francisco, Vacaville and Walnut Creek.

The results of the survey are posted at www.leapfroggroup.org/cp and are available to patients and families, the public, employers, and other purchasers of health care.

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