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Palomar Health Center
Palomar Medical Center in Escondido. Photo courtesy of Palomar Health.
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Palomar Medical Center named top 100 in four specialties

ESCONDIDO — Palomar Medical Center in Escondido was recently named one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic Surgery, Joint Replacement, Spine Surgery and Stroke Care, according to awards announced recently by a nationwide hospital-ranking agency called Healthgrades.

Healthgrades, a resource that connects consumers, physicians and health systems, released their analysis of top-performing hospitals for specialty care late last month, placing Palomar in the top 100 out of nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide.

“Healthgrades has a long-standing commitment to providing greater transparency when it comes to hospital quality,” said Brad Bowman, Chief Medical Officer at Healthgrades, in a press release. “Our analysis is designed to help consumers better understand the importance of hospital quality and how it can affect patient care, which has never been more important.”

Palomar is also the only hospital in the county to receive America’s 100 Best Hospitals in Orthopedic Surgery Award for five years in a row and was given five stars for the following procedures/outcomes: total knee replacement, total hip replacement, hip fracture treatment, spinal fusion surgery, cranial neurosurgery, treatment of stroke, treatment of pneumonia, treatment of gastrointestinal bleed and treatment of sepsis.

The hospital also received Specialty Excellence Awards in critical care, stroke care, neurosciences, orthopedic surgery, joint replacement and spine surgery.

“These awards show that Palomar Health is providing the highest level of patient care, in some cases the top two percent in the nation,” said Palomar Health President and CEO Diane Hansen. “You don’t have to drive out of the neighborhood to be treated by some of the top physicians in the nation.”

According to Healthgrades, patients treated at a hospital receiving a 5-star rating have, on average, a lower risk of a complication or mortality than if treated at a hospital receiving a 1-star rating in that procedure or condition.

The award comes after an uncertain few months as hospitals nationwide have been grappling with the COVID-19 outbreak. Back in April, the hospital had to lay off more than 300 employees, citing significant patient visit declines and loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, Palomar was chosen as the site of a 250-bed federal FEMA field hospital for COVID-19 patients. The hospital also recently opened a new mental health crisis stabilization unit (CSU), the first of its kind in San Diego County.