LOS ANGELES and ORANGE Counties, Calif., Jan. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- James Leo, MD, a prominent national expert, sought-after speaker and ardent advocate for clinical quality, patient safety and continuous improvement, is the new Chair of the MemorialCare Physician Society, an organization that has received national recognition for its innovations in best practice, evidence-based medicine. A MemorialCare Health System physician executive and 28-year member of the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center Medical Staff, Dr. Leo also served as Long Beach Memorial's Associate Chief Medical Officer and Medical Director of Clinical Quality from 2004 to 2011.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2016, the governing board of this unique, voluntary, physician-led organization has a direct reporting relationship to MemorialCare Health System Board of Directors. The Physician Society's efforts and dedication in driving clinical outcomes and performance for MemorialCare's six hospitals and 200 care locations in Los Angeles and Orange counties have resulted in clinical outcomes that frequently exceed regional and national standards.
In his role as Chair, Dr. Leo will advance the Physician Society's efforts in developing and implementing clinical best practices; enhance technology that assists in the realization of best practice medicine and collection and reporting of clinical outcomes; expand education and publish materials that advance best practice medicine; assist physicians in optimizing patient care and involving patients in shared decision-making; and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of electronic medical records in hospitals, outpatient settings and physicians' offices.
He currently is the Medical Director of Best Practice and Clinical Outcomes for MemorialCare Health System. In this role, he further strengthens MemorialCare's already well-established Best Practice Teams consisting of physician experts, nurses, pharmacists and other clinicians who ensure patients receive the highest quality, most evidence-based care available.
As a leader in clinical quality, Dr. Leo has promoted innovative programs to engage physicians and hospital personnel in quality initiatives that save lives. He led Long Beach Memorial's participation in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's "100 Thousand Lives" and "5 Million Lives Saved from Harm" campaigns. He spearheaded formation of Long Beach Memorial's Rapid Response Team—credited with saving countless lives—which enables hospital personnel to respond immediately to patients at the earliest sign of a decline in their clinical status. His leadership in MemorialCare's implementation of guidelines for the National Surviving Sepsis Campaign resulted in reducing mortality by over 40 percent for the life-threatening severe sepsis and septic shock that kills 258,000 Americans annually—63 percent better results than the national campaign goal of 25 percent.
Dr. Leo has a longstanding commitment to disaster preparedness, developing a first-of-its-kind physician disaster response system for use in community hospitals. This system, unique to MemorialCare, was published in the American Journal of Disaster Medicine and recognized by The Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations as a "National Best Practice."
Dr. Leo holds board certifications in internal medicine, critical care and emergency medicine. A graduate of MIT, he received his medical degree from University of California San Francisco and completed residencies in emergency medicine and internal medicine at UCLA and USC medical centers. He is a member of the American College of Chest Physicians, Society of Critical Care Medicine, American Medical Association and American College of Physician Executives and serves on MemorialCare Health System's Board of Directors.
MemorialCare Health System, a nonprofit Southern California integrated delivery system and pioneer in evidence-based medicine, has more than 200 care sites; 15,000 physicians, employees and volunteers; six top hospitals—Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach, Community Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley and Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills and San Clemente; MemorialCare Medical Group; Greater Newport Physicians (GNP); Seaside Health Plan; ambulatory surgery centers; and imaging, outpatient and urgent care facilities. Its many honors include Best U S. Health Care Systems, 10 Largest U.S. Children's Hospitals, Top 100 Hospitals, Straight A Hospital Safety Scores, Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospitals and more. To learn more, visit www.memorialcare.org.