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Virginia Mason Medical Center Recognized in National Quality Study

SEATTLE, Wash. – (Feb. 6, 2006) – Virginia Mason Medical Center announced today that it has received the 2006 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical ExcellenceTM, based on a study issued by HealthGrades, the leading independent company that measures health care quality in hospitals across the country. This is the third consecutive year that Virginia Mason has received the award.

Hospitals receiving the award are among the top 5 percent in the nation, in terms of mortality and complication rates, for 28 procedures and diagnoses evaluated by HealthGrades. Patients treated at distinguished hospitals are, on average, 27 percent less likely to face mortality and 14 percent less likely to suffer from a major complication.

Virginia Mason is the only three-time award recipient in the Pacific Northwest, and the only recipient in the state of Washington. Only 89 hospitals nationwide, or less than 2 percent of the 5,122 hospitals evaluated, have received the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence for the past three consecutive years.

“Quality of care is our highest priority at Virginia Mason Medical Center. Providing our patients and families with the best care possible is inherent in our mission, vision and values,” said Gary S. Kaplan, MD, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Recognition as a top hospital in one of the largest health care studies in America validates the hard work of our medical teams.”

Each year, HealthGrades independently analyzes the clinical quality performance of all non-federal hospitals across the country in nearly 30 procedures and diagnoses, ranging from bypass surgery to total knee replacement. Hospitals that receive the HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence are those that rank in the top 5 percent when all 28 individual scores are aggregated into an overall score. Only 277 U.S. hospitals qualified for this prestigious award in 2006.

The Fourth Annual HealthGrades Quality and Clinical Excellence Study looks at tens of millions of hospitalization records during the years 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Virginia Mason’s quality clinical outcomes in several specialty areas include:

  • Cardiac: Ranked #1 in the state of Washington and among the top 10 percent of all hospitals in the nation for cardiac interventional procedures. Virginia Mason is among the five best hospitals in the state for overall cardiac and cardiology services. The hospital received five-star ratings for coronary interventional procedures and valve replacement surgery.

  • Orthopedics: Ranked among the top 10 percent in the nation and #1 in the Seattle area for orthopedic joint replacement surgery. Virginia Mason is also ranked among the five best hospitals in Washington for overall orthopedic services. The hospital received five-star ratings for both total knee and total hip replacement surgery.

  • Pulmonary: Ranked among the top 5 percent in the nation, and best in the Seattle area for pulmonary care. Virginia Mason received five-star ratings for overall pulmonary services, treatment of community-acquired pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

  • Gastrointestinal (GI) Services: Ranked among the top 5 percent in the nation and #1 in Washington for overall GI services. Virginia Mason received five-star ratings for gastrointestinal surgery and procedures, and treatment of GI bleed and bowel obstruction.
Virginia Mason also received the 2006 Specialty Excellence award in Pulmonary and Critical Care along with GI services, recognizing outstanding clinical quality.

“At Virginia Mason, we have a skillful and dedicated team of clinicians and employees,” said Dr. Kaplan. “We’re proud of their work and this award, which shows clinical outcomes among the best in the nation. Ultimately, this is great news for our patients.”

About 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 and AIDS. Virginia Mason also has an internationally recognized research center, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason. For more information, visit

About HealthGrades
HealthGrades (Nasdaq: HGRD) is the leading health care ratings company, providing ratings and profiles of hospitals, nursing homes and physicians to consumers, corporations, health plans and hospitals. Millions of consumers and hundreds of the nation’s largest employers, health plans and hospitals rely on HealthGrades’ independent ratings to make health care decisions based on the quality of care. More information on the company can be found at
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Virginia Mason Medical Center Contact:
Alisha Mark
(206) 341-1509

HealthGrades Media Contact:
Scott Shapiro
(720) 963-6584
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