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Nurses' Choice for Hospitals

San Joaquin County

September 2023

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Are there differences in the quality of care among San Joaquin hospitals? If there are, we can rely on nurses to see these differences because nurses see all aspects of care delivery in a hospital. Nurses know if their hospital is holding to the highest standards or slipping, and every patient should have their trusted recommendation. 

CareLuminate conducted178 interviews with nurses in San Joaquin County to ask if they would recommend their own hospital to their loved ones. We are grateful to the registered nurses who spent over 50 hours in interviews as part of this research, courageously and candidly sharing their opinions about where they, and their loved ones, go for care.


Most Recommended: Nurses were

asked if they recommend their hospital to their loved ones for care. The hospital with the highest recommendation rate is awarded this important distinction.

Highest Quality: Nurses were

asked 9 other care quality questions about their confidence in their hospital’s care, including details about teamwork, compassion, outcomes, safety, protocols/ equipment, transitions, communication, leadership and staffing. The quality score is the percentage of care quality questions answered with a positive or ‘agree’ response.  

Why is the Highest Quality not the Most Recommended?

Some community hospitals, such as Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, deliver a very high level of care but are not recommended as much by nurses because smaller hospitals do not cover care across all specialties,

St. Joseph Medical Center is the 2023 San Joaquin County Nurses’ Choice Most Recommended Hospital

St. Joseph's Medical Center

80% of nurses at St. Joseph's Medical Center say they would or do refer their loved ones to their hospital, pointing to the broad set of services, experienced physicians, and strong teamwork. Nurses reported a strong commitment to quality care throughout the organization and confidence that patients receive compassionate care. Even at this highest -rated hospital, some nurses did not recommend it, often citing concerns with high nurse turnover combined with many new resident physicians, and reporting that this combination of inexperienced nurses and residents working together can lead to mistakes. 

Sutter Health Tracy Community Hospital is the 2023 San Joaquin County Nurses’ Choice for Quality Care

Sutter Tracy Community Hospital

Nurses reported Sutter Tracy Community Hospital is an excellent community hospital with a caring staff. Nurses reported the best staffing levels in the county at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital amid a national staffing crisis, with nurses saying patients receive the time and attention they need. Almost all RNs who do not recommend Sutter Tracy Community Hospital have an overall concern about a lack of all services but do not report concerns about the quality of care.

Adventist Health Lodi Memorial

Nurses report that Adventist Health Lodi is a good hospital with most services and a dedicated care team that deeply cares. Recently staffing and turnover have taken a toll on the quality of care according to interviews. Nurses say Adventist Health - Lodi might not be the best fit for extremely sick patients, and patients might sometimes experience longer waits as staffing is sometimes weak.

Kaiser Permanente Manteca

Kaiser Permenente has a different model than many other health systems, with a strong reliance on policies to keep patients safe. These policies and procedures, combined with better-than-average staffing, can make Kaiser an excellent care delivery organization. Some RNs reported concerns with Kaiser Manteca staff having less experience with very sick patients and sometimes struggling with teamwork between physicians and nurses. Nurses say Kaiser Manteca is stronger at delivering routine, rather than complex, care.

San Joaquin General Hospital

Nurses report that San Joaquin General Hospital does not retain nurses or other staff well, resulting in high turnover and sometimes disjointed care. Because San Joaquin General Hospital receives many trauma cases, caregivers are experienced in taking care of very sick patients. Nurses report that other patients, who are not very sick, can struggle to receive adequate attention and care.

Dameron Hospital

Feedback from nurses indicates that Dameron Hospital is struggling to deliver the highest quality care. Nursing turnover is very high, resulting in inexperienced staff and burned-out senior leaders. Some safety procedures are questionable. Caregivers work extremely hard with the limited resources they have but work well together as a team to deliver the best care they can.

Looking for more details including nurse comments, comparisons to other regions and additional details? Download the complete CareLuminate Nurse Voice San Joaquin County 2023 Report

CareLuminate is a consumer research organization and does not recommend any hospital for care. Instead, we recommend that hospital consumers utilize this research as well as other sources of research to find the hospital that best meets their needs. All feedback from this research was sourced from RN interviews and CareLuminate acknowledges multiple sources of additional information about hospital quality exist and should be explored by consumers.
All healthcare carries inherent risks and CareLuminate only reflects surveyed nursing opinions about care. CareLuminate is not a direct care organization and cannot be held liable for any care received at any of the hospitals measured in this research.

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