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SEATTLE - (Sept. 24, 2008) — Virginia Mason Medical Center is one of 26 hospitals and seven children's hospitals named 2008 Top Hospitals in the nation by The Leapfrog Group. Virginia Mason was the only hospital in Washington state to be listed. The award is based on the results of the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the nation's premier hospital evaluation tool. The survey provides consumers and health-care purchasers with up-to-date assessments of 1,220 participating hospitals' quality and safety programs and outcomes. (There are more than 5,000 hospitals in the United States.)

Virginia Mason and the other 2008 Top Hospitals fully met the standards for four crucial areas, or "leaps":

  • Preventing medication errors by implementing computer physician order entry (CPOE) systems and carefully testing the CPOE systems with Leapfrog tools;
  • Achieving stringent performance standards for at least one of the complex, high-risk procedures (such as heart bypass surgery) done in that particular hospital;
  • Meeting the intensive care unit (ICU) staffing standard;
  • Meeting or demonstrating "substantial progress" on 13 additional nationally recognized safe practices, such as preventing pneumonia or bloodstream infections.

"This is a great honor and well-deserved recognition for the outstanding work being done by our staff," says Gary S. Kaplan, MD, Virginia Mason's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "The Leapfrog Group Survey uses a strict and valid methodology that produces meaningful results. The Top Hospitals are truly committed to quality and safety for their patients."

The Leapfrog Group is a voluntary program aimed at mobilizing employer purchasing power to alert America's health industry that big leaps in health-care safety, quality and customer value will be recognized and rewarded. Among other initiatives, Leapfrog works with its employer members to encourage transparency and easy access to health-care information, as well as rewards for hospitals that have a proven record of high-quality care.

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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