Seven Sutter Health Affiliates Earn Top Status in California for Outstanding Patient Safety & Health Care Quality
About One-Third of all Hospitals to Receive Prestigious Award are Affiliated with Sutter Health
SACRAMENTO, Calif. May 2, 2006 - Seven Sutter Health affiliates are among just 22 hospitals statewide being recognized for outstanding commitment to health care quality and patient safety by The Leapfrog Group, a consortium of some of the nation's largest employers that are challenging health care providers to make significant "leaps" in these areas. The "Excellence in Patient Safety & Health Care Quality Award," is based on results from the prominent Leapfrog Group Hospital Quality and Safety Survey.
This prestigious award was presented to only 22 hospitals in all of California. About one-third of the winning facilities are affiliated with Sutter Health. They are:
- Mills-Peninsula Health Services in Burlingame
- Alta Bates Summit Medical Center - Alta Bates Campus in Berkeley
- Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital in Auburn
- Sutter General Hospital, part of Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento
- Sutter Lakeside Hospital in Lakeport
- Sutter Memorial Hospital, also part of Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento
- Sutter Roseville Medical Center in Roseville
Four of California's leading health plans – Aetna, Blue Shield of California, CIGNA HealthCare, and UnitedHealthcare – jointly presented the award. Each of the winning hospitals holds a contract with three or more of the four health plans. This recognition is part of an effort by participating health plans to reward and recognize hospitals for their patient safety and health care quality efforts.
"We're proud to be at the forefront of efforts around patient safety and clinical quality," said Gordon Hunt, M.D., chief medical officer for Sutter Health. "Leapfrog initiated one of the first national report cards to focus on patient safety practices, and Sutter facilities have voluntarily participated in Leapfrog surveys since their inception."
Sutter Health affiliates received this recognition based on outstanding scores for instituting or making great strides in achieving The Leapfrog Group's four hospital quality and safety practices. Based on independent scientific evidence, these quality practices are:
- Computer physician order entry – using computers to enter medication orders
- Evidence-based hospital referral – choosing hospitals with extensive experience and the best results with certain high-risk surgeries and conditions such as coronary artery bypass, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair and high-risk births
- Intensive care unit (ICU) staffing by physicians experienced in critical care medicine
- The Leapfrog Safe Practices Score - based on the National Quality Forum-endorsed Safe Practices - which includes 27 procedures to reduce preventable medical mistakes.
Sutter affiliates also work together on a number of clinical initiatives that have an important impact on improving patient care. These initiatives draw upon evidence-based medicine and include using established guidelines, standardization of protocols, clinical outcome goals, and education of patients and clinicians to change practice patterns.
"By participating in these types of surveys, our affiliates can identify opportunities to improve care, increase safety and provide better outcomes for the patients we serve," concluded Dr. Hunt. "This award is just one example of how physicians, nurses and other professionals across our network are working together to make significant leaps in patient care for our communities."