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Logo: Leapfrog Top Hospital of the Decade, 2001-2010SEATTLE - (Dec. 1, 2010) - Virginia Mason Medical Center was named Top Hospital of the Decade at The Leapfrog Group's 10th Anniversary Gala in Washington, D.C. last night. Only two hospitals in the nation received the special recognition — the other being the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore (UMMC). This is the first honor of its kind and was created to coincide with Leapfrog's 10th anniversary.

Virginia Mason and UMMC were cited for their strong public commitments and major achievements in reducing medical errors and other innovations in patient safety and quality. Leapfrog Group Board Chair David Knowlton described the efforts of the two hospitals as "extraordinary in every sense of the word." Knowlton said, "These two hospitals chose to blaze that trail long ago by committing themselves to change, accountability and transparency. They have done the work that others must now undertake."

"As our country works through health care reform, we as leaders can take note that organizations such as Virginia Mason are proving high quality health care at a lower cost is not only achievable, but it should be an expectation," said Governor Chris Gregoire. "I am proud that Washington state has been a leader in implementing these impressive Leapfrog measures. The Boeing Company and the Washington State Health Care Authority, with support from our hospitals, have championed this important work and have been instrumental in driving quality improvements."

Today, Virginia Mason was also named a 2010 Top Hospital by The Leapfrog Group. This is the fifth consecutive year Virginia Mason received the honor since the recognition program's inception in 2006. It is one of 65 hospitals in the country named to the 2010 list. The award is based on the results of the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the nation's premier hospital evaluation tool. The survey provides consumers and health care purchasers with up-to-date assessments of more than 1,200 participating hospitals' quality and safety programs and outcomes.

The survey, launched in 2001, focuses on four critical areas of patient safety: the use of computer physician order entry (CPOE) to prevent medication errors; standards for performing high-risk procedures such as heart surgery; protocols and policies to reduce medical errors and other safe practices recommended by the National Quality Forum; and adequate nurse and physician staffing. Hospitals are also measured on their progress in preventing infections and other hospital-acquired conditions and adopting policies on the handling of serious medical errors.

"This recognition reflects the outstanding work physicians and team members do on behalf of our patients every day," said Gary S. Kaplan, MD, chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason. "We know The Leapfrog Group's standards are high and its methodology identifies those hospitals that are truly committed to providing the highest quality, safest care for patients. We are proud Virginia Mason is part of this exceptional and exclusive group."

"It is hard to find the words to convey just how proud I am to serve this organization as a community advocate," said Carolyn Corvi, retired Boeing executive and Virginia Mason board chair. "I do know the Top Hospital of the Decade honor is well-deserved and speaks to the dedication and commitment by all team members throughout Virginia Mason. Best of all, this honor confirms, without question, that Virginia Mason's patients are truly the focus of everything our team members do, every day, on their behalf."

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 or Facebook/VMcares or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter.

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