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Hospital Announces 100k Lives Campaign Milestone

SEATTLE, Wash. – (June 14, 2006) – To advance evidence-based efforts to improve patient safety, Virginia Mason Medical Center (VM) implemented changes to its clinical practices, adding the six best practices advocated by the 100k Lives Campaign, a national effort designed to save lives in the delivery of hospital care. In collaboration with all Washington state hospitals, it is estimated that this effort has saved more than 1,500 lives in Washington.

At the same time, The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), the sponsor of the 100k Lives Campaign, celebrates and announces a national milestone: this campaign, by current estimates, has saved 122,300 lives. The 100k Lives Campaign, an 18-month initiative launched in December 2004, was designed to save 100,000 lives in hospitals nationwide that would otherwise have been lost through medical error or failure to apply the best medical evidence. The campaign has created an infrastructure for continued improvement work in patient safety and quality.

Virginia Mason is one of the first hospitals in Washington to implement all six of the campaign’s recommended interventions demonstrated to improve safety and quality of care for patients. Implementing these new practices represents a commitment to focus on known areas where prevention and safety steps can make a significant difference in patients’ health and healing. These include:
  • Deploy Rapid Response Teams (RRT) at the first sign of a decline in patient health
  • Deliver reliable, evidence-based care for acute myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Prevent Adverse Drug Events
  • Prevent Central Line Bloodstream Infections
  • Prevent Surgical-Site Infections
  • Prevent Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

Virginia Mason has made progress across all of these areas. In 2005, Virginia Mason substantially reduced all preventable codes (emergencies such as a cardiac arrest, respiratory failure or blood clot), dropping the incidence rate for preventable codes by 76 percent. The medical center’s rapid response team responded to 590 calls when patients were unstable, intervening with life-saving care to help prevent codes during 2005, a 781 percent increase over 2004. In addition, the medical center has seen incredible progress such as zero cases of patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia over seven months in 2005 due to this safety work.

“At Virginia Mason, we are committed to patient safety, making it our single organizational goal in 2005 and again in 2006. We may be the only hospital in the country to do this. By employing these best practices we aim to deliver the appropriate and safest care to every patient, every time. As part of the 100k Lives Campaign initiative, we want to recognize the work that is being done to ensure that health care is as safe as possible. The continued success of this campaign represents a significant milestone in the way hospitals in the United States deliver care,” said VM Chairman and CEO, Gary S. Kaplan, MD.

Washington was the first state of its size to secure 100 percent participation in the campaign by community hospitals. Working together with the Washington Network, a partnership among state health care and quality improvement organizations, participating facilities agreed to measure their results by submitting mortality data reported on a quarterly basis.

“Patient safety in health care continues to significantly be enhanced as we document and share information about our improvement work. At Virginia Mason, we’ve implemented all the evidence-based practices that will deliver the safest care. We believe this effort will help leverage the importance of utilizing best practices and supports safer care nationwide,” said Cathie Furman, vice president of quality and compliance at Virginia Mason.

National 100k Lives Campaign achievements will be recognized by the health care industry during the second annual International Hospital Summit in Atlanta, Ga., on June 14.

“We are committed to making a difference for our patients through these patient safety initiatives,” continued Dr. Kaplan.

Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health care system that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 400 physicians with a 336-bed acute care Seattle hospital. In addition, Virginia Mason has a network of clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area and manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and adult day health program for people living with HIV/AIDS. Virginia Mason also has an internationally recognized research center, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason. For more information, visit

National 100k Lives Campaign
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is a not-for-profit organization leading the improvement of health care throughout the world. Founded in 1991 and based in Cambridge, Mass., IHI is a catalyst for change, cultivating innovative concepts for improving patient care and implementing programs for putting those ideas into action. Thousands of health care providers, including many of the finest hospitals in the world, participate in IHI’s groundbreaking work. For more information, visit

National 100K Lives Campaign Sponsors The campaign is endorsed by the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the Veterans Health Administration.

Alisha Mark
(206) 341-1509

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