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Area Kaiser patients less satisfied

Times Staff Writer

Patients treated at Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Southern California were less satisfied than many of those at other hospitals in the region and across the country, according to data released Friday from the first nationwide satisfaction survey.

None of the 10 Kaiser hospitals in Southern California that participated in the survey exceeded the regional average when patients were asked if they would “definitely recommend” the hospital to friends and family. Kaiser runs the largest hospital system in the region.

Among the 94 hospitals in Southern California that participated in the survey, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach ranked highest, with 87% of patients saying they would definitely recommend the hospital. At the bottom was Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, where 42% of patients gave that positive endorsement.

Overall, the data showed that Southern California patients, on average, were slightly less satisfied about their hospital experiences than patients nationwide. Though 65% of Southern California patients would definitely recommend their hospital, 67% of Americans overall said the same thing.

At the highest-rated Kaiser hospital in Southern California, in Woodland Hills, 63% said they would “definitely recommend” the hospital.

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Just 50% to 56% of patients would definitely recommend their Kaiser hospitals in Hollywood, Harbor City, West L.A., Riverside, Bellflower, Fontana and Panorama City.

Kaiser spokesman Jim Anderson said the hospital system will take information from the survey to “improve our services to patients.”

“For those hospitals that had low scores, we want to improve them, and for the hospitals that had high scores, we want to sustain them and raise them more,” Anderson said.

He noted that the poorest-performing hospital, Panorama City, was more than 40 years old at the time the survey was conducted. Kaiser opened a new facility in Panorama City earlier this week.

“As some of our new hospitals come online, that will help improve our patients’ perceptions,” Anderson said.

The information released Friday was part of an ongoing effort to give data to members of the public, so they can compare hospitals, officials said.

Roughly 2,500 hospitals participated in the survey, overseen by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It will be updated quarterly and is expected to include more hospitals later this year.

The survey asked 27 questions, such as how well nurses and doctors listened to the patient, whether medical staff treated them with courtesy and respect, and how well medical staff managed complaints of pain.

In announcing the survey results at a conference of the Assn. of Health Care Journalists, Michael O. Leavitt, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said he hoped they would spur hospitals to improve care.

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ron.lin@latimes.com

To access the data, go to www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov

Times staff writer Charles Ornstein contributed to this report.


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