Two local Kaiser Permanente medical centers were named “top hospitals” in the nation by a leading coalition that seeks to promote health care safety, quality and affordability.

The hospitals in Woodland Hills and Panorama City were among eight Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Southern California to receive the designation from the Leapfrog Group. A total of 18 Kaiser Permanente facilities in California have received this recognition out of 52 Top Urban Hospitals nationwide.

The 2011 ‘Top Hospital’ list is made up of three categories of hospitals: urban, rural, and children’s hospitals, for a total of 65 Top Hospitals chosen from a field of nearly 1,200 hospitals across the nation.

“We are extremely pleased to receive this designation,” Cathy Casas, executive director of Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills said in a statement. “Our inclusion in The Leapfrog Group’s list of top 65 hospitals in the country underscores our commitment to the very highest standards in quality of care and safety for our patients.”

“The real winners are the patients we treat in our hospital every day,” added Dennis Benton, executive director of Kaiser Permanente Panorama City.

To make the ‘Top Hospital’ list, medical centers participated in the 2011 Leapfrog Hospital Survey which focused on four critical areas of patient safety. Every hospital designated ‘Top Hospital’ demonstrated effective use of computerized physician orders for medications, met tough standards for nursing and physician staffing, successfully performed high-risk surgeries and procedures, and demonstrated efficient use of health care resources while maintaining high quality outcomes.

In addition, hospitals are measured on their progress in preventing infections and other hospital-acquired conditions and adopting policies on the handling of serious medical errors.

Judy Temes