Lawsuits Dismissed Following 2011 Computer Theft

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

The California Third District Court of Appeal today ordered the complete dismissal of 13 coordinated class action lawsuits filed following the October 2011 theft of a Sutter Health password-protected computer containing patient data.

The complaints had alleged violations of the California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA or Confidentiality Act). Nearly three years after the theft of the computer from a Sutter Health administrative building, the Court of Appeal ruled (Sutter Health v. Superior Court, No. C072591; July 21, 2014) that the plaintiffs failed to state a cause of action under the Confidentiality Act because “they did not allege that the stolen medical information was actually viewed by an unauthorized person.” In fact, no information from the stolen computer ever surfaced after the building break-in and theft.

The Court of Appeal ruled that Sutter Health did not intend to disclose the medical information to the thief, and that Sutter Health’s actions with respect to the records did not fail to preserve their confidentiality, because loss of possession alone is “not a breach of confidentiality.”

The Court of Appeal noted that the thief may well have “wipe(d) clean” the stolen hard drive without seeing the data and that, under the circumstances, no injury intended to be protected by CMIA was suffered.”

“Sutter Health is pleased that the judicial process resulted in a ruling that will end litigation, which if it had continued would have diverted resources better spent on patient health care,” said Sutter Health spokesperson Bill Gleeson. “Continued litigation would also have increased the likelihood that private patient records would be used in litigation, even though no injury to patient confidentiality ever resulted from the theft.”


Sutter Health Hospitals Honored by U.S. News & World Report

Posted on Jul 15, 2014 in Quality, Scroll Images

Eight Sutter Health hospital campuses received “high performing” rankings for specialty care in the annual U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals survey released today.

For 2014-2015, U.S. News evaluated hospitals in 16 medical care specialties. These Sutter Health campuses ranked as high performers:

San Francisco Bay Area:

Sacramento area:

Read More

Sutter Health Network Physician Organizations Named Among the Best in California

Posted on Jul 14, 2014 in Quality, Scroll Images

California Association of Physician Groups Standards of Excellence logoSix physician organizations in the Sutter Medical Network received “Elite” honors from the California Association of Physician Groups’ (CAPG) Standards of Excellence Survey—the highest recognition awarded by the professional organization.

Winners in the Sutter Health Network include the following:

Elite Status (4 stars / highest recognition)

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Sutter Health’s eICU Celebrates Decade of Quality Service

Posted on Jul 7, 2014 in Quality, Scroll Images

Expands To Support Additional PatientsRosemarie Co, R.N., eICU nurse

From the west shore of Northern California’s Clear Lake to the heart of Merced County sit two rural community hospitals caring for their region’s most critically ill patients. Like many community hospitals across the country, Sutter Lakeside Hospital and Memorial Hospital Los Banos struggled to recruit critical care intensivists. Thanks to a $25 million investment made by Sutter Health a decade ago, patients at Sutter Lakeside Hospital and Memorial Hospital Los Banos receive 24-hour ICU monitoring and critical care support from two small rooms nearly 150 miles away.

Sutter Health’s electronic ICU (eICU) marks its 10th anniversary in 2014. The first of its kind on the West Coast (and only the second eICU in the nation), Sutter’s eICU has supported approximately 150,000 patients across 18 Sutter Health hospitals (23 campuses) by ensuring the sickest patients at both rural and large metropolitan areas have access to a team of physicians and nurses specially trained in the care of critically ill, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Read More

New OR Training Program Eases Potential Nurse Shortage

Posted on Jul 1, 2014 in Scroll Images, Transformation

Nurses train in Sutter Health's operating room training program On Saturday, June 28, the Sacramento Bee prominently featured a story about an innovative Sutter Health program that trains registered nurses to assist in the operating room. Spotlighted on the front page of the Bee’s business section, the program is Sutter’s way of proactively helping to address a growing shortage of OR-trained nurses in California.

Sutter’s inventive 12-week course uses a unique simulation approach so nurses can safely learn OR procedures in a controlled training environment—rather than learning during actual surgery. Compared to similar programs offered elsewhere, Sutter’s training can be completed in half the time, at about half the cost

The program launched in late 2012, and so far, 62 registered nurses have graduated and now work in operating rooms across our network. The program reflects Sutter’s commitment to develop quality, affordable solutions for challenges affecting our industry.



Sutter’s AIM Program May Provide Solution to a National Problem

Posted on Jun 25, 2014 in Quality, Scroll Images

Bob Martinez, former AIM program participant.Officials in Washington D.C. are keen to see how Sutter Health’s Advanced Illness Management (AIM) Program improves care and reduces costs for people with severe chronic illness. If the program proves successful, Medicare may look to replicate it across the nation. This is according to a feature on AIM in National Public Radio’s California Report.

AIM, which is available in 14 counties across Northern California, coordinates care, provides comfort and support, and empowers patients, families and friends to plan for the future.

NPR’s story features Bob Martinez, a chronically ill patient who talks about his personal story. Listen to Bob’s story on

Sutter Health Implements Health Information Exchange

Posted on Jun 25, 2014 in Quality, Transformation

Christopher Jaeger

Chris Jaeger, M.D., Sutter Health’s chief medical information officer, leads the network’s implementation project for the health information exchange

HIE Allows Unaffiliated Providers to Share Critical Patient Health Information

Today, Sutter Health announces an important step to improving care coordination and clinical quality across Northern California: the launch of a fully integrated health information exchange (HIE) system. Sutter Health is working with Orion Health to build and deploy the HIE, which will allow doctors and hospitals—inside and outside its network of care—to securely share clinical information.

Currently, the Sutter Health electronic health record (EHR) connects five medical foundations and 17 hospital campuses. By 2015, it expects to complete its EHR installation to better support care delivery to 3 million active patients in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns. An HIE system that integrates Sutter’s EHR with other providers’ systems will help Northern California caregivers improve quality, safety and efficiency for all patients traveling between providers.

“An HIE system will allow us to securely exchange up-to-date patient information with Sutter Health clinicians as well as those not affiliated with our organization, providing us with complete, secure 360-degree views of patients’ care and health histories, wherever and whenever it’s needed,” said Chris Jaeger, M.D., Sutter Health’s chief medical information officer. “Improved delivery of reliable information can be especially important in emergencies—when every second counts for patients in distress.”

“Sutter Health is an innovative health care organization, focused on providing first-rate care to its patients, and that’s evidenced by its extensive HIE selection process,” said James Date, senior vice president, Sales, Orion Health. “More and more organizations are realizing the critical need for technology that facilitates the sharing of patient information. They want to meet regulatory requirements, and more importantly, they want to share information quickly and securely—often across multiple facilities. Orion Health is happy to provide this solution to further help Sutter Health provide personalized care.”

This summer, Sutter Health will begin deploying the HIE in phases. The first step involves basic data integration with the Sutter EHR as well as testing the exchange of inbound and outbound data to ensure quality.