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KAISER SHINES IN TREATING HEART ATTACKS

 SAN DIEGO, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- If you're going to get a heart attack, Kaiser hospital may be the best place to go for treatment. That's what a recent study of all California hospitals seems to suggest.
 The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) studied patient outcomes among 395 hospitals in the state to assess the impact of medical care during hospitalization and recently released an annual "report card."
 Kaiser was the only San Diego hospital and one of just 14 in the state considered to have exceptionally good records in handling heart attacks. The risk-adjusted heart attack mortality rate at KFH was 8.7 percent, compared with the 13.3 percent state average.
 "While we still have some concerns with the methods used to analyze all data collected, our high mark for treating heart attacks is due to many factors, one of which is the fact that we have three board- certified internists in the medical center around the clock," says Daniel Anderson, M.D., the chief of Internal Medicine. "This enables us to begin administering medications and perform other measures needed to stabilize heart attack patients. We also have some of the most experienced cardiologists in the community performing arthrectomies on our patients to open their arteries. This procedure improves the health and quality of life of our patients."
 "It's gratifying to know we're doing well in this area," says Hospital Administrator Ken Colling. "It speaks well of the efforts of our health care team."
 In addition to measuring how well hospitals treat heart attack victims, the state's study also measured how well they treat back surgeries.
 The goal of the OSHPD project is to create outcome measures that can be compared across hospitals serving different types of patients. The state intended the results to help hospitals identify areas for improvement.
 But several hospital officials charge that the data are not valid because the methodology is faulty. OSHPD officials agree in part with the criticism and have cautioned that the report should be used as a baseline against future reports.
 "We are investigating the extent to which the results reflect variations in the way data are coded or to which they reflect real quality issues," says Les Zendle, M.D., associate medical director for Clinical Services at Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, Calif. "These concerns have been shared with OSHPD, but we applaud all efforts to measure true quality and identify areas for improvement."
 -0- 1/14/94
 /CONTACT: Jim McBride, 619-528-3171/


CO: Kaiser Permanente ST: California IN: HEA SU:

JM-LS -- SD006 -- 2241 01/14/94 20:24 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 14, 1994
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