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SEATTLE – (Jan. 20, 2015) – Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO Gary Kaplan, MD, is co-chair of a panel of national experts that has produced a report advising that increased transparency in health care and a free flow of information are necessary to improve patient safety.

The report, titled “Shining a Light: Safer Health Care through Transparency,” was released today by the National Patient Safety Foundation’s Lucian Leape Institute in Boston.

The institute’s news release and report are online at

“Transparency has been largely overlooked as a patient safety tool, in part because it requires a foundation of a safety culture and strong organizational leadership,” said Dr. Kaplan. “The barriers are not necessarily easy to overcome, but we will never truly achieve safe patient care without improvements in transparency in each of the domains we cite.”

Authors of the report provide specific recommendations relevant to each domain and to the areas of measurement and leadership. In all, more than three dozen recommendations are outlined in the report addressing issues such as disclosure of conflicts of interest, shared decision making with patients, and development of core competencies for communicating about medical errors and quality measures to patients, families, other medical professionals, and the public.

The report is intended to be a call to action to the U.S. health care system to make significant progress in the open exchange of information, particularly as it impacts safety.

About Virginia Mason
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason employs 6,000 people and includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 460 physicians; regional medical centers throughout the Puget Sound area; and Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the U.S. designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS. Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is internationally recognized for its breakthrough autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason was the first health system to apply lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste, lower cost, and improve quality and patient safety.

To learn more about Virginia Mason, please visit or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter. To learn how Virginia Mason is transforming health care and to join the conversation, visit our blog at

Media Contact:
Gale Robinette
Virginia Mason Media Relations
(206) 341-1509

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