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During the recent 2011 Northwest Patient Safety Conference, Virginia Mason was one of nine health care organizations across the state recognized with an Award of Excellence for "significant contributions to healthcare" through innovative, measurable improvements. Virginia Mason's work received one of the three top scores, resulting in a new type of recognition: Leadership in Improving Healthcare.

The awards were presented by Qualis Health, a non-profit organization focused on quality improvement in health care. Specifically, VM was honored for improving the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of the medication administration process. Through strong collaboration between nurses, pharmacists and other departments, VM team members targeted gaps and defects within the medication administration flow of work.

"This was truly a group effort — it took hundreds of team members from many parts of the organization to focus their attention on this shared goal of making it safer to administer medication to our patients," says Joan Ching, RN,
administrative director, Virginia Mason Hospital Quality and Safety.

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