OAKLAND, Calif. — Twenty-eight Kaiser Permanente hospitals are among the nation's finest medical centers for both common and complex care, according to the U.S. News & World Report's 2016-17 Best Hospitals report, published this week.

The 27th annual rankings and ratings, considered to provide an objective assessment of hospital care excellence, are based on evaluation of the nearly 5,000 medical centers nationwide. This study is intended to help guide patients to hospitals that deliver outstanding care across 25 specialties, procedures and conditions. Best Hospitals uses objective measures such as patient survival, the number of times a given procedure is performed, infection rates, adequacy of nurse staffing and more.

Five Kaiser Permanente hospitals in California are among the state's Top 50 for overall care:San Francisco, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Santa Clara and Fontana. Additionally, Kaiser Permanente in Clackamas is ranked the fourth-best hospital in Oregon.

While choosing the right hospital for the right procedure is a complex decision, Kaiser Permanente stands out for several specialties, procedures and conditions, including cardiac care. Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center, for the second year in a row, is among the Top 50 in the nation for the specialty of "cardiac care and heart surgery." In addition, 26 Kaiser Permanente hospitals are "high-performing," the highest rating given, for congestive heart failure treatment, four are "high-performing" for heart bypass graft, and three are "high-performing" for aortic valve replacement.

"Kaiser Permanente's commitment to world-class quality care is supported by this latest report from U.S. News & World Report," said Patrick Courneya, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. "This recognition of our specialty care is directly attributable to Kaiser Permanente's culture of continuous improvement, evidence-based practices and personalized service."

"High-Performing" across 18 of the 25 specialties, procedures and conditions

In all, Kaiser Permanente facilities are rated "high-performing" in 18 of the 25 different specialties, procedures and conditions.

"We're gratified to hear the latest report from U.S. News & World Report places us within the top tier of hospitals nationwide," said Michael Kanter, MD, executive vice president and chief quality officer, The Permanente Federation, the national umbrella organization for nearly 18,000 physicians who provide care to Kaiser Permanente's more than 10.6 million members. "Our tens of thousands of dedicated physicians, nurses, clinicians and care teams strive to put our patients at the center of everything we do, and these results validate that our quality care is working."

In addition to the 28 Kaiser Permanente hospitals named in the report, four others in California (Richmond, Manteca, Irvine and Ontario) are included in the U.S. News calculations as a result of shared licenses and combined data (see accompanying chart).

For more information and complete rankings, visit U.S. News.

Hospital High Performing Designations
Anaheim/Irvine (CA) Orthopedics, Heart Failure, Colon Cancer Surgery, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement
Antioch (CA) Heart Failure, Hip Replacement
Baldwin Park (CA) Heart Failure
Downey (CA) Heart Failure
Fontana/Ontario (CA) Heart Failure, Colon Cancer Surgery, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Hip Replacement
Fresno (CA) Heart Failure
Los Angeles (CA) Diabetes and Endocrinology, Geriatrics, Neurology and Neurosurgery,; Orthopedics, Urology, Aortic Valve Surgery, Heart Failure, Heart Bypass Surgery, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Lung Cancer Surgery
Manteca/Modesto (CA) Heart Failure
Moreno Valley (CA) Heart Failure
Oakland/Richmond (CA) Heart Failure, Hip Replacement
Panorama City (CA) Heart Failure
Riverside (CA) Orthopedics, Heart Failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Roseville (CA) Heart Failure, Hip Replacement
Sacramento (CA) Cancer, Gynecology
San Diego (CA) Heart Failure, Colon Cancer Surgery, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
San Francisco (CA) Cardiology and Heart Surgery, Cancer, Gastroenterology and GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Aortic Valve Surgery, Heart Bypass Surgery, Heart Failure, Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement
San Jose (CA) Heart Failure
San Rafael (CA) Urology
Santa Clara (CA) Heart Bypass Surgery, Heart Failure, Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement
South Bay (CA) Heart Failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
South Sacramento (CA) Heart Failure, Colon Cancer Surgery
South San Francisco(CA) Heart Failure
Vallejo (CA) Heart Failure
Walnut Creek (CA) Heart Failure
West Los Angeles (CA) Heart Failure, Colon Cancer Surgery, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Woodland Hills (CA) Heart Failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Hip Replacement
Moanalua (HI) Heart Failure, Colon Cancer Surgery, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Sunnyside (OR) Orthopedics, Pulmonology, Aortic Valve Surgery, Heart Bypass Surgery, Heart Failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Colon Cancer Surgery, Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement

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 10.6 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:

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Approach may offer value to health systems and clinicians in targeting interventions to prevent suicide

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Combining data from electronic health records with results from standardized depression questionnaires better predicts suicide risk in the 90 days following either mental health specialty or primary care outpatient visits, reports a team from the Mental Health Research Network, led by Kaiser Permanente research scientists.

The study, "Predicting Suicide Attempts and Suicide Death Following Outpatient Visits Using Electronic Health Records," conducted in five Kaiser Permanente regions (Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, California and Washington), the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, and the HealthPartners Institute in Minneapolis, was published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Combining a variety of information from the past five years of people's electronic health records and answers to questionnaires, the new models predicted suicide risk more accurately than before, according to the authors. The strongest predictors include prior suicide attempts, mental health and substance use diagnoses, medical diagnoses, psychiatric medications dispensed, inpatient or emergency room care, and scores on a standardized depression questionnaire.

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"We demonstrated that we can use electronic health record data in combination with other tools to accurately identify people at high risk for suicide attempt or suicide death," said first author Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH, a Kaiser Permanente psychiatrist in Washington and a senior investigator at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.

In the 90 days following an office visit:

  • Suicide attempts and deaths among patients whose visits were in the highest 1 percent of predicted risk were 200 times more common than among those in the bottom half of predicted risk.
  • Patients with mental health specialty visits who had risk scores in the top 5 percent accounted for 43 percent of suicide attempts and 48 percent of suicide deaths.
  • Patients with primary care visits who had scores in the top 5 percent accounted for 48 percent of suicide attempts and 43 percent of suicide deaths.

This study builds on previous models in other health systems that used fewer potential predictors from patients' records. Using those models, people in the top 5 percent of risk accounted for only a quarter to a third of subsequent suicide attempts and deaths. More traditional suicide risk assessment, which relies on questionnaires or clinical interviews only, is even less accurate.

The new study involved seven large health systems serving a combined population of 8 million people in nine states. The research team examined almost 20 million visits by nearly 3 million people age 13 or older, including about 10.3 million mental health specialty visits and about 9.7 million primary care visits with mental health diagnoses. The researchers deleted information that could help identify individuals.

"It would be fair to say that the health systems in the Mental Health Research Network, which integrate care and coverage, are the best in the country for implementing suicide prevention programs," Dr. Simon said. "But we know we could do better. So several of our health systems, including Kaiser Permanente, are working to integrate prediction models into our existing processes for identifying and addressing suicide risk."

Suicide rates are increasing, with suicide accounting for nearly 45,000 deaths in the United States in 2016; 25 percent more than in 2000, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Other health systems can replicate this approach to risk stratification, according to Dr. Simon. Better prediction of suicide risk can inform decisions by health care providers and health systems. Such decisions include how often to follow up with patients, refer them for intensive treatment, reach out to them after missed or canceled appointments — and whether to help them create a personal safety plan and counsel them about reducing access to means of self-harm.