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SEATTLE – (June 6, 2012) — Virginia Mason Medical Center was honored today with an "A" Hospital Safety ScoreSM by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits. The Hospital Safety Score was calculated under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel using publicly available data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections. U.S. hospitals were assigned an A, B, C, D, or F for their safety.

Just two weeks ago, Virginia Mason was one of only 263 hospitals nationwide to earn the Patient Safety Excellence Award from HealthGrades®. It is the third year in a row that Virginia Mason has earned this distinction.

The Hospital Safety Score uses 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single score representing a hospital's overall capacity to keep patients safe. Of the 2,652 general hospitals issued a Hospital Safety Score, 729 earned an "A," 679 earned a "B" and 1,243 earned a "C" or below.

"We are proud of this recognition of the efforts of our physicians and staff to ensure each of our patients receives the safest, highest quality care," said Gary S. Kaplan, MD, chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason Medical Center. "The development of this grading system by The Leapfrog Group is another step forward in giving health care consumers transparency and easy-to-use tools they can use when choosing a hospital."

"It’s The Leapfrog Group’s goal to give patients the information they need and deserve before even entering a hospital," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. "We congratulate the hospitals that earned an ‘A’ and we look forward to the day when all hospitals in the U.S. will earn the highest scores for putting patient safety first."

To view Virginia Mason’s scores as they compare to other hospitals in Seattle and across the country, patients may visit www.hospitalsafetyscore.org, the Hospital Safety Score website.

The grades were calculated under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group’s nine-member Blue Ribbon Expert Panel. Members include John Birkmeyer (University of Michigan), Ashish Jha (H arvard University), Lucian Leape (Harvard University), Arnold Millstein (Stanford University), Peter Pronovost (Johns Hopkins University), Patrick Romano (University of California, Davis), Sara Singer (Harvard University), Tim Vogus (Vanderbilt University), and Robert Wachter (University of California, San Francisco).

About The Leapfrog Group
The Leapfrog Group (www.leapfroggroup.org) is a national organization using the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for Americans. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey allows purchasers to structure their contracts and purchasing to reward the highest performing hospitals. The Leapfrog Group was founded in November 2000 with support from the Business Roundtable and national funders, and is now independently operated with support from its purchaser and other members.

About Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason employs more than 5,300 people and includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital, a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 450 physicians, satellite locations throughout the Puget Sound area and Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the U.S. designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS. Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is internationally recognized for its breakthrough autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason was the first health system to apply lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste and improve quality and patient safety.

Awards and distinctions include Top Hospital of the Decade by The Leapfrog Group, 2012 Top Hospital (for the sixth consecutive year) by The Leapfrog Group, 2012 Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence from HealthGrades®, and 2012 America’s 100 Best Specialty Excellence Award for Overall Cardiac and Gastrointestinal Care from HealthGrades.

To learn more about Virginia Mason Medical Center, please visit VirginiaMason.org or Facebook.com/VMcares or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter.

To learn more about how Virginia Mason is transforming health care and to join the conversation, visit our blog at virginiamasonblog.org.

For media inquiries, contact:
John Gillespie
Media Relations
john.gillespie@vmmc.org
(206) 341-1509 (o)
(206) 402-2822 (m)

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