Seventeen Kaiser Permanente Hospitals Named ‘Top Hospitals’ by Leapfrog Group

Honor recognizes hospitals’ performance on national standards of safety, quality and efficiency

Press Release
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Sandra Watts

OAKLAND, Calif. — Sandra Watts was “near death,” her physician recalled. After feeling ill at a friend’s home and then losing consciousness, Watts had gone into ventricular fibrillation, a serious cardiac rhythm disturbance. She needed expert medical intervention immediately.

Watts — a Kaiser Permanente member from Northern California — was rushed to Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center, where the emergency department team immediately began resuscitation. After 40 minutes of vigorous CPR, followed by an 11-day stay in the hospital, she made a full recovery, and was able to attend her daughter’s wedding three months later.

“Clearly, that would have been a very different day had I not made it,” she said.

While it’s possible many hospitals could have given Watts the expert care she needed, Kaiser Permanente hospitals are among the best at doing so, according to a national report. The Leapfrog Group — a national watchdog group that compares hospitals’ performance on U.S. standards of safety, quality and efficiency — today named Kaiser Permanente San Francisco and 16 other Kaiser Permanente hospitals as “Top Hospitals.”

The annual “Top Hospital” list is an exclusive group of U.S. medical centers. While more than 1,300 urban hospitals completed the Leapfrog survey and were considered for the recognition, only 62 (4.7 percent) were named “Top Hospitals.” In California, only 23 hospitals made the list. Kaiser Permanente’s 17 hospitals make up nearly three-quarters of the state’s “Top Hospitals.”

“Kaiser Permanente’s outstanding performance in The Leapfrog Group’s Top Hospital ratings reflects the successful outcomes that come from providing care within an integrated, coordinated health care model,” said Patrick Courneya, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. “Our more than 10 million members are able to not only achieve the best health outcomes, but also get back to those things they love doing most, like attending a daughter’s wedding, all because of the dedicated focus on high-quality care provided by our Kaiser Permanente physicians, nurses and care teams.”

In order to be on the list, a “Top Hospital” must have fulfilled stringent performance standards for high-risk procedures (such as heart surgery). A medical center must have also attained outstanding success in areas such as instituting stringent safety practices, and reducing infection rates and mortality rates for common procedures. Hospitals must also fully meet Leapfrog’s standards for implementing computer physician order entry systems.


Male physician from Hawaii sharing iPad content with woman patient“Kaiser Permanente is consistently receiving the highest marks for quality and safety because our care teams are committed to doing what’s best for the member, keeping them safe and healthy,” said Scott S. Young, MD, associate executive director of quality for Kaiser Permanente. “Having experts available from every specialty area working in collaboration with their care teams, and utilizing the most advanced electronic medical record allows us to provide patients rapid, cutting-edge diagnosis and treatment.”

The “Top Hospitals” honor is the most recent in a string of awards and achievements given to Kaiser Permanente hospitals and health plans in the past few months:

  • “Living the Vision” award. The Leapfrog Group honored Kaiser Permanente and its hospitals with its inaugural award for excellence.
  • Medicare Star Quality Ratings. In 2015, six of Kaiser Permanente’s seven Medicare health plans received an overall rating of 5 stars, the highest rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare plans in California have been rated 5 stars for five consecutive years.
  • NCQA Quality Compass dataset for commercial measures. According to the 2015 National Committee for Quality Assurance report, Kaiser Permanente is the highest rated health plan in 21 of the 48 effectiveness-of-care measures. More than 500 U.S. plans are considered. This is the seventh successive year Kaiser Permanente has had more No.1s than any other health plan.
  • J.D. Power Member Satisfaction Study. Kaiser Permanente members in five geographic areas rated their health plan highest in satisfaction. Kaiser Permanente members in California have rated their health plan highest in satisfaction for eight years in a row.

To view the complete list of Leapfrog’s 2015 “Top Hospitals,” visit the group’s website at

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 10 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: