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Rating Based on Study of Patient Outcomes at the Nation's Hospitals by HealthGrades

SEATTLE - (Oct. 13, 2009) - Virginia Mason Medical Center received the 2010 HealthGrades Gastrointestinal Care Excellence AwardTM and is ranked #1 in the state for gastrointestinal services, according to the leading independent health care ratings organization's 12th annual Hospital Quality in America study that analyzes patient outcomes at virtually all of the nation's hospitals.

The medical center also received the 2010 HealthGrades Pulmonary Care Excellence AwardTM, placing it in the top 5 percent in the nation for pulmonary services. In addition to the Excellence Awards, Virginia Mason received five-star ratings for stroke, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, GI bleed, bowel obstruction and sepsis.

"Our providers and staff are committed to providing the highest quality care to our patients every day," says Gary S. Kaplan, MD, Virginia Mason chairman and CEO. "Recognition such as this is a reflection of our team's focus on our patients."

The HealthGrades study, the largest annual report of its kind, analyzed patient outcomes in nearly 40 million Medicare hospitalization records from 5,000 hospitals over the years 2006, 2007 and 2008. This year's study results across 17 procedures and diagnoses found:

  • There is a 72 percent lower chance of dying in a five-star rated hospital compared to a one-star rated hospital, and a 52 percent lower chance of dying in a five-star rated hospital compared with the national average; and
  • 224,537 Medicare lives could potentially have been saved from 2006 through 2008 if all hospitals performed at the level of a five-star rated hospital.

About HealthGrades Ratings
For 28 procedures and treatments, HealthGrades issues star ratings that reflect the mortality and complication rates for each category of care. Hospitals receiving a five-star rating have mortality or complication rates that are below the national average, to a statistically significant degree. A three-star rating means the hospital performs as expected. One-star ratings indicate the hospital's mortality or complication rates in that procedure or treatment are statistically higher than average. Because the risk profiles of patient populations at hospitals are not alike, HealthGrades risk-adjusts the data to allow for apples-to-apples comparisons.

About Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit 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; manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and Chronic Care Management program for people living with HIV and AIDS; and operates 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.

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