Kaweah Delta earns top grades among Valley hospitals

The Sun-Gazette

Visalia hospital is named one of America’s 50 best for cardiac surgery and among the nation’s top 100 for stroke, pulmonary and critical care

VISALIA – Kaweah Delta Medical Center is the most awarded hospital in the Central Valley for clinical quality excellence, according to a new report released by Healthgrades last month. Among its recognitions, Kaweah Delta has been named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery for the fourth year in a row and one of America’s top 100 hospitals in the care of stroke, pulmonary and critical care patients according to the leading resource that connects consumers, physicians and health systems.

“We are all honored and humbled by this recognition. Our team is focused on excellence and works tirelessly to care for this community,” said Gary Herbst, chief executive officer of Kaweah Delta Health Care District. “To be named among some of the best hospitals in the nation is an honor and a reflection of the dedication and commitment our staff and physicians have for the care and well-being of our community.”

Kaweah Delta is one of eight hospitals in California, and the only one in the Central Valley to receive the distinction as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery for its superior clinical outcomes in heart bypass surgery and heart valve surgery. Kaweah Delta is affiliated with the Cleveland Clinic, the No. 1 ranked heart program in the U.S. every year since 1995. Through this affiliation, physicians and staff from Kaweah Delta and Cleveland Clinic collaborate to improve healthcare services and outcomes by implementing best practices and using data to improve care. Kaweah Delta offers a full range of cardiovascular services in partnership with the 23 physicians.

CEO Gary Herbst announces Kaweah Delta’s affiliation with Cleveland Clinic’s Heart and Vascular Institute, the No. 1-ranked heart program in the U.S. in January 2019. File photo.

“It truly has been and continues to be a team effort when it comes to the great success of our cardiac program. Our nurses, techs, and perfusionists in the cardiac operating rooms, the nursing staff in the intensive care units and on 4 Tower, along with our pharmacy department are second to none when it comes to caring for our cardiac patients,” said Byron Mendenhall, M.D., chief of staff and medical director of cardiothoracic anesthesiology. “Our program is also unique in that the team consists of two cardiac fellowship trained anesthesiologists, myself and Dr. Brad Bachar, who work only in the cardiac operating rooms. This keeps our skills at a very high level.”

The Healthgrades report shows that Kaweah Delta earned more awards for its clinical outcomes than any other hospital in the Central Valley. Kaweah Delta was also recognized in the areas of neurosciences, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, and critical care. These achievements appear in the recently-released Healthgrades 2021 Report to the Nation:

  • Cardiac patients have a 54.5% lower risk of dying if treated at hospitals that received the America’s 50 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery, like KDMC, versus non-recipient hospitals.
  • Pulmonary patients have a 52.4% lower risk of dying if treated at hospitals that received the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Pulmonary Care, like KDMC, versus non-recipient hospitals.
  • Stroke patients have a 39.1% lower risk of dying if treated at hospitals that received the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Stroke Care, like KDMC, versus non-recipient hospitals.
  • Critical care patients have a 29.9% lower risk of dying if treated at hospitals that received the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Critical Care, like KDMC, versus non-recipient hospitals.

Kaweah Delta was also named among the top 10% in the nation for overall pulmonary services (treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia), critical care services (treatment of pulmonary embolism, respiratory system failure, sepsis and diabetic emergencies), and overall neurosciences care (stroke care and neurosurgery). Kaweah Delta partners with a number of highly-skilled neurosurgeons, the majority of whom are faculty members in the USC Department of Neurological Surgery, to offer neurosurgery and neurospine services in Visalia. The partnership keeps patients with severe head injuries and neurosurgical conditions close to home.

Care for traumatic head injuries is important for the families and community members in this region because it dramatically reduces the time it takes for these patients to receive care, said Joseph Chen, M.D., medical director of Kaweah Delta’s Neurosciences Center. “We’ve been incredibly pleased to work with Kaweah Delta. Being recognized by HealthGrades shows the power of our stable partnership. We continue to be committed to this community and look forward to providing more advanced level care to Tulare and Kings counties.”

Healthgrades recognizes a hospital’s quality achievements for cohort-specific performance, specialty area performance, and overall clinical quality. Individual procedure or condition cohorts are designated as 5 stars (statistically significantly better than expected), 3 stars (not statistically different from expected) and 1 star (statistically significantly worse than expected).

Start typing and press Enter to search