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April 08, 2011

US News & World Report issued the results of a nationwide survey of nearly 5000 hospitals, survival rates, patient safety and several other categories; Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose did not come up high in their rankings. Disturbingly, there were several areas in which survival rates in certain areas were either “worse than expected” (cancer at Good Samaritan) or “much worse than expected” (kidney disease at Good Sam).  (No mention of El Camino in Los Gatos by that name or its former name, Los Gatos Community Hospital. Perhaps it is too small or was closed during the evaluation?)

Sometimes lower rankings can be the result of taking on higher risk patients.  There’s no way for the reader to see if that is the reason for the scary grading at our local hospital.   And it raises lots of questions about every facet of the care there: Is it poor management? Are doctors affiliated with this hospital of a lesser quality than those of higher ranked medical facilities? Is Good Sam badly understaffed? 

I had my 2 kids there, some surgeries there for medical problems and worked as a volunteer chaplain there in the early 90s and this report stuns me to no end. Did it get worse or why are these rankings so awful?  And I wonder if this will negatively impact the health-related businesses in Los Gatos which are close to and dependent upon Good Sam in many ways. Many local physicians, nurses and others live in Los Gatos or in the nearby San Jose area of Cambrian.

Back to the report – To see the rankings, first click on the hospital’s name and then check the particular specialty.

Good Samaritan Hospital

Silicon Valley hospitals that scored top honors for the area for various specialties include O’Connor Hospital, Valley Medical Center, Regional Medical Center and Kaiser. The pinnacle of the list is, not surprisingly, Stanford Hospital, and it was the only one which made the national ranking for top 25% in 16 specialties or more.