Newswise — LOS ANGELES – Keck Medicine of USC has appointed Santhi Iyer Kumar, MD as the first chief quality and patient safety officer at Keck Medical Center of USC, which consists of Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Kumar will collaborate with multidisciplinary teams across the organization to ensure that patients receive high-quality, effective, safe and patient-centered care at one of the region’s leading tertiary and quaternary care centers.

Kumar, who is director of the medical intensive care unit at Keck Hospital and assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, will bring her passion for transforming care and improving patient outcomes to her new role.

“I love being at the bedside and connecting with patients,” Kumar says. “It’s important to know what they enjoyed about their care and where we can make improvements. I want patients to be part of the conversation and include their perspective when we create quality and safety processes. That way, we deliver care that’s in line with their values and supports the lives that they want to live.”

In her new role, Kumar will also concentrate on meeting national hospital quality and safety regulatory requirements, including Joint Commission and Centers For Medicare & Medicaid accreditation.

“Our goal is to create continuity across the medical center so that regardless of which physician or nurse is treating a patient, that care will be consistent, high quality and compassionate,” Kumar says.

The new position complements a team of physician-led quality and safety officers who are focused on everything from infection prevention strategies to clinical care improvements. The team is led by Stephanie Hall, MD, chief medical officer of Keck Medicine, and Neha Nanda, MD, medical director of infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship.

“Keck Medical Center is a world-class tertiary-quaternary care provider, treating people with complex health issues,” says Rod Hanners, chief operating officer of Keck Medicine of USC and chief executive officer of Keck Medical Center of USC. “Our patients have entrusted us with providing exceptional care and outcomes, and we take this responsibility very seriously. Dr. Kumar will be their champion in this new role.”



Keck Medicine of USC is the University of Southern California’s medical enterprise, one of only two university-based medical systems in the Los Angeles area. Encompassing academic and clinical excellence, the medical system attracts internationally renowned physicians and scientists who strive to provide world-class patient care at Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital and more than 40 outpatient facilities, some at affiliated hospitals, in Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, Tulare and Ventura counties. 

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Keck Medical Center of USC among the Top 20 in ophthalmology and cancer care and among the Top 50 hospitals in the United States for orthopaedic surgery, geriatric care and urology.

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