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Two hospitals cited for excellence

Those planning to go under the knife in Glendale and Burbank can at least take solace in knowing that two local hospitals earned recognition in recent weeks for their outstanding surgical care.

Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center is one of the 50 best hospitals in the country, according to a national survey by HealthGrades Inc. It is the fifth consecutive year Glendale Memorial has earned the honor.

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank was named one of the best 10 hospitals in the region for surgical outcomes, according to a patient safety coalition overseen by the Hospital Assn. of Southern California.

Providence Saint Joseph was recognized for its use of patient safety protocols drawn up by a national partnership of doctors, health-care professionals and insurers.


Dr. Raymond Schaerf, a thoracic surgeon who has served as chief of staff at Providence Saint Joseph, said the Surgical Care Improvement Project procedures cover everything from proper use of antibiotics and anesthetics to post-operative case management.

Before performing any surgery at Providence Saint Joseph, the medical team goes through a checklist of 25 to 30 protocols, he added.

Implementing the system several years ago required working with surgeons and staff “one by one, group by group, specialty by specialty,” he said. “The difference between having a hospital that is 98.8% safe or 100% safe…it’s very important to get there.”

Providence Health & Services system hospitals in Mission Hills and Torrance were also among the top 10 in the survey, which considered more than 100 hospitals from Santa Barbara to San Bernardino counties.


Glendale Memorial was one of only two California hospitals recognized last month as among the top 50 in the nation by HealthGrades Inc., a Denver nonprofit that researches medical outcomes in more than two dozen types of surgeries at thousands of hospitals that accept Medicare patients.

HealthGrades reviewed more than 140 million patient records and assessed rates of mortality and in-hospital complications before issuing its 2010 rankings, according to the report.

To be named one of the top 50, a hospital must maintain lower-than-average mortality and post-surgery complication rates for at least six consecutive years. Glendale Memorial fared especially well in heart and lung procedures.

Glendale Memorial President Mark Meyers said in a statement he was honored the hospital again made the list.

“This recognition is also a testament to the caliber of physicians and employees at Glendale Memorial,” he said. “Their hard work and dedication to quality patient care played an integral part in achieving this recognition.”

The other California hospital to make the top 50 was St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica.