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One of Two Hospitals in Nation to Receive Honor Six Years in a Row
SEATTLE - (Dec. 6, 2011) — Virginia Mason Medical Center was named a 2011 Top Hospital today at The Leapfrog Group's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. This is the sixth consecutive year Virginia Mason has received the honor from Leapfrog. Virginia Mason joins University of Maryland Medical Center-Baltimore (UMMC) as the only two hospitals to receive Top Hospital distinction every year since the recognition program's inception in 2006.

In 2010, Virginia Mason and UMMC were also the only hospitals in the country to be named "Top Hospital of the Decade" by Leapfrog. For 2011, Virginia Mason is one of 52 hospitals in the country to meet Leapfrog criteria for highest performing urban hospitals.

The Top Hospitals honor is based on results of the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, a hospital evaluation tool. The survey provides consumers and health care purchasers with up-to-date assessments of participating hospitals' quality and safety programs and outcomes.

"Virginia Mason continues to set the bar higher and higher for hospital excellence," said Leah Binder, CEO, The Leapfrog Group. "They were Leapfrog's Top Hospital of the Decade in 2010 and, with this year's Top Hospital award, they are on track for Leapfrog's next decade."

To be named a Top Hospital, Virginia Mason had to:

  • Fully meet Leapfrog's standard for computer physician order entry (CPOE).
  • Fully meet Leapfrog's intensive care unit (ICU) staffing standard.
  • Meet Leapfrog's standards for complex procedures, such as heart bypass surgery, resection of the pancreas, resection of the esophagus, etc.
  • Rank among the top 10 percent of all hospitals measured for efficiency, according to the Leapfrog Hospital Recognition Program. Efficiency is a measure that combines scores for quality and resource use. For 2011, VM ranked in the top 1 percent in this category.

A detailed explanation of the Leapfrog Hospital Recognition Program scoring methodology can be found at

"The Top Hospital recognition reflects our physicians and team members' unwavering commitment to serving our patients," said Gary S. Kaplan, MD, Virginia Mason chairman and CEO. "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.

"I am extremely proud Virginia Mason is once again part of this exceptional group of hospitals. It is further evidence of how we are transforming health care."

About The Leapfrog Group
The Leapfrog Group is a coalition of public and private purchasers of employee health coverage founded a decade ago to work for improvements in health care safety, quality and affordability. The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is the only voluntary effort of its kind. The survey, which 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 doing 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. In addition, hospitals are measured on their progress in preventing infections and other hospital-acquired conditions and adopting policies on the handling of serious medical errors, among other things. View and compare hospital survey results at

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 follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter.

For media inquiries, contact:
John Gillespie
(206) 341-1509 (office)
(206) 402-2822 (mobile)

Michelle Peterson
(206) 583-6581 (office)
(206) 540-6936 (pager)

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