Safety Measures

How we deliver high-quality care

In order to achieve the best possible results for our patients, MLKCH adheres to national standards of excellence. Those standards include:

We have a Maternity Safety Program

MLKCH takes a coordinated approach to pregnancy and childbirth that includes doctors, midwives and specialists available to our patients at all times. We also partner with the First 5 Welcome Baby Program, which assists new moms with education and support.

We have an Infection Control Program

MLKCH has a “sepsis protocol” – a plan in place that guides health care workers on how to prevent infection at every stage of patient care.

We have a Respiratory Monitoring Program

MLKCH provides round-the-clock monitoring of patients who have trouble with their lungs or are having trouble breathing.

We have met or exceeded National Patient Safety Goals

MLKCH meets national goals on patient safety as required by the Joint Commission, a healthcare accreditation organization. These goals include having processes in place to ensure that medicine is administered properly, hand washing guidelines are followed, and a process is in place to prevent patient falls.

Learn more about National Patient Safety Goals.

We protect our patients from the flu

MLKCH offers all employees a flu shot in an effort to protect its employees, patients and visitors against the disease. In 2018, almost all MLKCH staff and patients received a flu shot, exceeding the national standard.

We enforce compliance

MLKCH has a Compliance Department that ensures that all staff follow proper procedures in the care and treatment of patients through training, enforcement and constant awareness-raising activities. A confidential compliance hotline is also available to help employees report issues that affect our quality.

We walk the walk

MLKCH leadership visit patients and observe the way our health team provides care on a regular basis. This visiting, or “rounding,” helps us learn about our care process and what can be improved and helps us promote a culture of safety.

Our results

MLKCH has achieved impressive results in a number of measures of hospital quality. Those measures include:

C-Section Rates

What this means: A C-section, or cesarean section, is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through an incision made in a mother's abdomen and uterus. A C-section is associated with risk of maternal mortality.  

Why it matters: A C-section is a major surgery that exposes women to risks like infection or hemorrhage. MLKCH has a C-section rate that is less than half the California hospital average, and well below the 23.9 percent target set recently for low-risk births by Covered California. MLKCH attributes its success to a unique model of 24/7 obstetric teams that include both a laborist and a midwife.

Source: Cal Hospital Compare 2023

Cesarean Section Rate


What this means: VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) is when a woman delivers a baby vaginally after having a prior Cesarean (C-section) delivery. 

Why it matters: VBAC has many benefits, including shorter recovery time and less risk of bleeding, infection, blood clots, and injury to other organs. A VBAC also reduces the risk of problems with the placenta —, which nourishes the fetus –– during later pregnancies.

Source: Cal Hospital Compare 2023



What this means: An episiotomy is a procedure in which a small cut is made to widen the opening of the vagina when a woman is giving birth.

Why it matters: Episiotomies put women at higher risk of post-birth discomfort, infection and even pain during sex in the months after delivery.  Episiotomies can often be avoided through natural birth methods, including allowing women to labor longer.

Source: Cal Hospital Compare 2023

Episiotomy Rate

Deliveries by Certified Nurse Midwives

What this means: Certified nurse-midwives are licensed health care professionals who perform many of the same functions as traditional obstetricians. Midwives tend to focus on less-invasive/non-surgical solutions to labor and delivery and emphasis a holistic patient care model of treatment. 

Why it matters: Certified nurse-midwives are associated with better birthing outcomes, including lower rates of C-section, fewer episiotomies and more natural (vaginal) births.

Source: Cal Hospital Compare 2023


MRSA Bloodstream Infections

What this means: A Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infection (BSI) occurs when a patient tests positive for antibiotic-resistant bacteria in their blood and may exhibit signs of an infection, such as a fever. MRSA can enter the body through wounds or IV lines. 

Why it matters: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections can be life-threatening and cause serious complications for adults, including death. Lower rates of MRSA indicate better infection prevention practices.

Source: Cal Hospital Compare 2023


Pneumonia Mortality

What this means: Pneumonia is a serious lung infection that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. 

Why it matters: Pneumonia can be deadly and have long-term effects on survivors, including diminished ability to exercise, cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. Lower rates of pneumonia indicate better infection prevention practices.

Source: Cal Hospital Compare 2023


Surgical Site Infections

What this means: A surgical site infection (SSI) is an infection that occurs in the body at the site of surgery, either in the incision or deep tissue, up to 30 days after the procedure.  SSIs are caused by bacteria that enter through the incisions made during surgery.

Why it matters: SSIs can impede recovery or even cause readmission to the hospital following surgery.  Lower rates of SSIs indicate better infection prevention practices.

Source: Cal Hospital Compare 2023