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HealthGrades Quality Study Identifies Hospitals with Superior Patient Outcomes Across 26 Different Medical Procedures and Diagnoses

SEATTLE - (Jan. 26, 2011) — Virginia Mason Medical Center announced today that HealthGrades, the nation's most trusted source of health care provider information, has named it a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical ExcellenceTM. This prestigious distinction places Virginia Mason among the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide for clinical performance.

HealthGrades Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study, released today, objectively identifies those hospitals with the best overall clinical performance across all 26 medical diagnoses and procedures that the organization rates. These 268 top-performing hospitals represent only 5 percent of the nation's hospitals, and each is designated as a HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical ExcellenceTM.

"Virginia Mason Medical Center can be proud of the contributions of its physicians, nurses and staff in achieving outstanding patient care," said Dr. Rick May, HealthGrades vice president of clinical quality services and co-author of the study. "The Seattle community is fortunate to have access to some of the highest quality hospital care in the nation."

"Our team is dedicated to providing the safest, highest quality care to our patients every day," said Gary S. Kaplan, MD, chairman and CEO at Virginia Mason. "This award, coming on the heels of being named a Leapfrog Top Hospital of the Decade, reinforces that we are focusing on the right things and helping to improve the lives of the patients we serve."
 
Unlike other hospital quality studies, HealthGrades evaluates hospitals solely on clinical outcomes: risk-adjusted mortality and inhospital complications. HealthGrades' analysis is based on approximately 40 million Medicare discharges for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. Using these top-performing hospitals as a benchmark in this year's study, HealthGrades quantifies the impact of differences in hospital quality in terms of lives lost and unexpected complications.

The HealthGrades study found that:

  • Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence (top 5 percent in the nation) such as Virginia Mason outperformed all other hospitals across all of the 17 mortality cohorts and six of nine complication cohorts studied from 2007 through 2009.
     
  • Specifically, Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence had a 29.82 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate and a 1.91 percent lower risk-adjusted inpatient complication rate among Medicare beneficiaries compared to all other hospitals.
     
  • In fact, if all hospitals performed at this level, 158,684 Medicare lives could potentially have been saved, and 3,511 Medicare inpatient complications could potentially have been avoided.

HealthGrades' Hospital Ratings
As part of this study, HealthGrades rates each of the nation's 5,000 nonfederal hospitals in 26 procedures and diagnoses, allowing individuals to compare their local hospitals online at www.healthgrades.com. HealthGrades' hospital ratings are independently created; no hospital can opt-in or opt-out of being rated, and no hospital pays to be rated. Mortality and complication rates are risk adjusted, which takes into account differing levels of severity of patient illness at different hospitals and allows for hospitals to be compared equally.

About Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit comprehensive regional health care system in Seattle that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 440 physicians with a 336-bed acute-care hospital. Virginia Mason operates a network of clinics throughout the Puget Sound area, and Bailey-Boushay House, a skilled-nursing facility and chronic care management program for people with HIV/AIDS. The medical center is affiliated with Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, internationally recognized in autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason is known for applying manufacturing principles to health care to improve quality and patient safety. For more information, visit Facebook/VMcares or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter.

About HealthGrades
HealthGrades is the leading independent health care ratings organization, providing quality ratings, profiles and cost information on the nation's hospitals, physicians, and nursing homes. Millions of patients and many of the nation's largest employers, health plans and hospitals rely on HealthGrades' quality ratings, advisory services and decision-support resources. The HealthGrades Network of Web sites, including HealthGrades.com and WrongDiagnosis.com, is a top-ten health property according to comScore and is the Internet's leading destination for patients choosing providers. More information on how HealthGrades guides Americans to their best health can be found at www.healthgrades.com.

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(206) 341-1509

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