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A headshot of Michael Kanter, MD

Michael Kanter, MD

Chair of Clinical Science; Professor

Dr. Michael Kanter has had oversight of the quality of care provided by 22,000 physicians to 12.2 million patients within the Kaiser Permanente healthcare system nationally, and was responsible for the development of the organization’s national quality strategy. He has a wide range of interests in clinical quality and patient safety and has designed and implemented a new model of care for chronic disease and prevention called Complete Care, which includes an interactive patient portal and proactive customized checklist that helps to increase the reliability of ambulatory care and increase patient engagement. He designed and implemented KP Sure Net, a program to decrease missed or delayed diagnoses and increase medical safety. In addition, he oversaw the creation of a language concordance program that matched bilingual physicians to patients with limited English-speaking abilities, and created a cardiovascular mortality reduction program that achieved a 50 percent reduction in the incidence of acute myocardial infarction from 2000 to 2014 and also eliminated many health disparities among African Americans in the Medicare population. He has authored more than 85 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association, as well as Harvard Business Review. He co-authored chapters in five books, and is a frequent speaker at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, National Patient Safety Foundation, and Diagnostic Errors in Medicine conferences and meetings.

Education and Training

  • BS, cum laude, University of California, Los Angeles
  • MD, University of California San Francisco
  • Pathology Residency, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center


Selected Prior Positions

2004-present Regional Medical Director of Quality and Clinical Analysis
Southern California Permanente Medical Group
2015-present Executive Vice President and Chief Quality Officer
The Permanente Federation
2015-2018 Member Standards Committee
National Committee For Quality Assurance (NCQA)
2015-2018 Chairperson, Practice Improvement Committee
Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine


Selected Honors and Awards

2007 Physicians Visionary Leadership Award
Southern California Kaiser Permanente Latino Physicians
2010 Innovation Award for the Proactive Office Encounter
National Business Coalition for Health
2012 Innovation Award for the Southern California Outpatient Sure Net Program
National Business Coalition for Health
2014 Lawrence Patient Safety Award for the Southern California Safe and Appropriate Opioid Prescribing Program
Kaiser Permanente
2014 James A. Vohs Award for Quality for the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Prostate Cancer Care Program
Kaiser Permanente
2015 Lawrence Patient Safety Award for Chronic Disease Management in Ophthalmology
Kaiser Permanente
2015 RJ Erickson Diversity and Inclusion Achievement Award for Southern California Hypertension/Colorectal Cancer Work on Disparities Reduction
Kaiser Permanente
2015 Innovation Award for the Online Personal Action Plan
National Business Coalition on Health
2015 John C. Maxwell Leadership Award (Top 30)
2018 Donabedian Award
American Public Health Association (APHA)

Selected Publications 

Peer-reviewed research manuscripts

  • Kanter M.: Transfusion associated graft versus host disease: Do transfusions from second degree relatives pose a greater risk than those from first degree relatives? Transfusion 1992; 32:323-327.
  • Kanter M., Van Maanen D., Anders K., Castro F., Mya W., Clark K. Preoperative autologous donation (PAD) prior to hysterectomy. Journal of the American Medical Association 1996; 276:798-801.
  • Goodnough LT, Brecher ME, Kanter MH, AuBuchon J. Medical progress: (first of two parts), Blood transfusion. New Engl J Med 1999; 340:438-447.
  • Goodnough LT, Brecher ME, Kanter MH, AuBuchon J. Medical progress: (second of two parts), Blood conservation. New Engl J Med 1999; 340:525-533.
  • Schottinger JE, Kanter MH, Litman KC, Using literature review and structured hybrid electronic/manual mortality review to identify system-level improvement opportunities to reduce colorectal cancer mortality. Jt.Comm J Qual Patient Saf 2016;42(7):303-308.
  • Shen E, Koyama SY, Huynh DN, Watson HL, Mittman B, Kanter MH, Nguyen HQ. Association between a dedicated post-discharge follow-up visit and 30-day readmission risk in a Medicare Advantage population. JAMA Intern Med. 2017 Jan 1;177(1):132-135.
  • Sharp AL, Shen E, Chen R, Radecki RP, Kanter MH, Gould MS. Improving antibiotic stewardship: A stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial. Am J Manag Care. 2017 Nov 1;23(11):e360-e365.
  • Sharp AL, Shen E, Kanter M, Berman LJ, Gould MK. Low-Value antibiotic prescribing and clinical factors influencing patient satisfaction. Am J Manag Care 2017;23(10):294-299.
  • Shah NR, Garofalo-Wright LM, Navarro R, Kanter M. Health care providers must stop wasting patients’ time. HBR 2017, May 24.
  • Losby JL, Hyatt JD, Kanter MH, Baldwin G, Matsuoka D. Safer and more appropriate opioid prescribing: a large healthcare system’s comprehensive approach. J Eval Clin Pract 2017;23:1173-1179
  • Kanter MH, Schottinger J, Whittaker J. A model for implementing evidence-based practices more quickly. NEJM Catalyst Feb 5, 2017.
  • Kanter MH, Huang YC, Kally Z, Gordon MA, Meltzer C. Using concentration curves to assess organization-specific relationships between surgeon volumes and outcomes. Jt Comm J Qual Pat Saf 2018;44:321-327.
  • Nguyen HQ, Gelman EJ, Bush TA, Lee JS. Kanter MH. Characterizing Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s experience with the California End of Life Option Act in the first year of implementation. JAMA Intern Med. 2018; 178(3):417-421
  • Sharp AL, Huang B, Tang T, Shen E, Melnick E, Venkatesh A, Kanter MH, Gould MK. Implementation of the Canadian CT head rule and its association with utilization of computed tomography among patients with head injury. Ann Emerg Med. 2018 Jan;71(1):54-63

Book chapters

  • Mohrman SA, Kanter MH. Designing for Health: Learning from Kaiser Permanente. In: Organizing for Sustainable Health Care (Mohrman SA, Shani AB) 77-122. Emerald Group Publishing, United Kingdom, 2012.
  • Mohrman SA, Kanter MH. Creating high-value sustainable healthcare: The technical and social elements of evidence-based medicine at Southern California Permanente Medical Group. In: Reconfiguring the Ecosystem for Sustainable Healthcare (Mohrman SA, Shani AB) 133-164. Emerald Group Publishing, United Kingdom, 2014.