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SEATTLE - (June 12, 2009) — Virginia Mason Medical Center received two of seven Qualis Awards of Excellence at the Northwest Patient Safety Conference held in Seattle. VM's patient safety teams were recognized for improving patient care transitions through resident handoffs and for innovations in the use of health information technology using VM's health maintenance module.

Both teams were chosen because of their ability to demonstrate leadership and innovation in improving health-care practices, reflecting the very best in health-care quality and patient safety improvement. The award recognizes accomplishments that result in long-term health-care changes for the public good. An awards committee comprised of representatives from local health-care professional and trade organizations judged all the nominations before picking winners in each category.

About the Health Maintenance Module Recognition
A clinical information team enhanced an electronic medical record tool to expand the number of screening tests, strengthen alert rules and document preventive care for patients. Called the Health Maintenance Module, the use of this tool increased the rate of providing on-time, age appropriate, gender specific and evidence-based preventive health interventions to an adult primary care patient population by 25 percent. This has resulted in Virginia Mason now being able to reliably offer evidence-based, preventive health care intervention such as cancer screenings, vaccinations and monitoring of chronic disease management/progression in a much more expedient way.

About the Resident Handoffs Recognition
Internal Medicine and General Surgery residents engaged in improvement efforts with Virginia Mason Medical Center's Graduate Medical Education department that resulted in a 25 percent improvement and a greater than 90 percent satisfaction score in the transfer of patient information between providers at shift-to-shift handoffs. The adoption of new, efficient handoff procedures and consistent follow-through garnered the attention of hospital leadership, resulting in funding for programming to automate the handoff content within a computerized order entry and electronic medical record system.

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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