Posts made in November, 2012

Press Ganey Summit Award Goes to Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center

For the fifth consecutive year, Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center (SMSC) has been named a 2012 Summit Award® winner by Press Ganey Associates, Inc.

The Summit Award recognizes top-performing facilities that sustain the highest levels of patient satisfaction performance for three consecutive years. The Press Ganey Summit Award is one of the health care industry’s most coveted symbols of achievement.

This year, SMSC is one of 114 organizations to receive this prestigious honor, and one of only 101 to receive it for achieving and sustaining excellence in patient satisfaction. Press Ganey partners with more than 10,000 health care facilities, including more than half of all U.S. hospitals, to measure and improve the patient experience.

“Achieving this level of excellence in patient satisfaction reflects our care team’s commitment to delivering outstanding patient and family-centered care,” said Stephen Gray, SMSC’s chief administrative officer.  “The award is a reflection of our culture that is committed to delivering an exceptional experience to every patient.”

Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center is part of the Sutter Health network.

Contact: Mark Riley, Sutter Maternity & Surgery Center, 831-460-6034;

Local Carbon Monoxide Leak: The Story Behind the Headline

On Thursday, November 8, 2012, KCBS News’ Holly Quan reported on the evacuation of a Burlingame hotel due to a carbon monoxide leak. The news report offers details of the scene and actions of the first responders. But who notified the first responders? That’s the Mills-Peninsula part of this story.

A patient was brought to the Mills-Peninsula Emergency Department from the Embassy Suites Hotel, where he had checked in after arriving at the San Francisco Airport. In the ER, the patient was unresponsive and showed symptoms of a possible stroke or aneurysm. (The identity of the patient is private and protected by HIPAA.)

Drs. Lim and Molander were interviewed by ABC TV’s Reporter Vic Lee and Cameraman Chris Hewett.

The ER team ordered a diagnostic CT scan of the patient which was sent to Greg Lim, M.D., chair of radiology at Mills-Peninsula.

“I was working that night and read the scans for the patient,” Dr. Lim explains. “A specific area of the brain was abnormal – it was symmetrically shaped, which is not consistent with stroke or aneurysm. I’d only ever seen a teaching case of carbon monoxide poisoning but the scan looked exactly as I remembered it from the lecture. I went out on a limb and diagnosed it as carbon monoxide poisoning, which was confirmed by my ER colleagues.”

It was Karin Molander, M.D., the Mills-Peninsula ER physician on this case, and AMR paramedic Lon Adams who alerted the Fire Department to the carbon monoxide risk.

“I felt like I was in an episode of the TV show ‘House,’” said Dr. Molander. “It took the combined minds of many people to figure out this uncommon case and act for the patient and the community.”

The Fire Department ordered the immediate evacuation of about 500 guests at the Embassy Suites Hotel then discovered the carbon monoxide leak was coming from a defective boiler. According to the Fire Department, the building was ventilated and guests were let back in the hotel around dawn.

The out-of-the-box thinking and quick reaction by radiology and ER doctors protected the lives of the 500 guests and employees at the hotel.

“As radiologists, often times we do our work in quiet dark rooms and people don’t recognize the big impact we have on public safety and patient care,” said Dr. Lim.

Mills-Peninsula serves as the major receiving hospital for most emergencies on the Peninsula and is the official destination for emergencies at the San Francisco International Airport. On an average day, this award-winning Emergency Department team treats more than 115 patients, administering critical care for stroke, heart attack, car accidents, sports injuries, poisoning – or any medical or psychiatric emergency.

“I’m very happy that more people weren’t hurt,” Dr. Lim said. “I grew up in this area and went to San Mateo High School. I moved back from Southern California because I wanted to take care of my family, friends and neighbors.”

Mills-Peninsula Recognized for Exemplary Surgical Patient Care

The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) has recognized Mills-Peninsula for achieving exemplary outcomes for surgical patient care, reports Bonnie Holland, administrative director, Quality & Regulatory Affairs.

Mills-Peninsula was one of 28 hospitals in the country honored. Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, another Sutter Health affiliate, was also recognized.

The ACS NSQIP recognition program commends a select group of hospitals for achieving “exemplary outcomes” in two or more of the following clinical areas: DVT (deep vein thrombosis, thrombophlebitis and pulmonary embolism), cardiac incidents (cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction), respiratory (pneumonia), SSI (surgical site infections-superficial) and urinary tract infection.

The recognition was based on data from general surgery cases from Jan. 1, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2011.The honor was announced at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress in October 2012.