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SEATTLE - (July 20, 2009) — Virginia Mason Medical Center (VM) has been awarded grant funding by the Cardinal Health Foundation to improve patient safety by optimizing care transitions through medication reconciliation. VM was among 35 hospitals, health systems and community health clinics across the country to receive funding and the only grantee in Washington state. The grant will be used for implementation and staff training in support of this important patient safety initiative.

Adverse drug events (ADE) are the single largest source of all medical errors. Medication errors leading to ADE in the hospital often occur at the points of admission, transfer and discharge, where responsibility of care is transferred between health-care professionals. One of VM's strategic organizational goals is to optimize care transitions using the principles of medication reconciliation. Communicating the medication list, ensuring it is accurate, and reconciling any discrepancies when new medications are ordered or current medications are adjusted, are all essential to reducing the risk of transition related ADEs.

VM's medication reconciliation process will be re-engineered using technology and the tools of the Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS). Using VMPS tools, the team will create a robust process that ensures patients' medication lists are 100 percent accurate and patients and family members understand the medication plan of care. This process includes patient-care providers accurately and completely reconciling medications across the continuum of care in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

About the Cardinal Health Foundation
The Cardinal Health Foundation supports local, national and international programs that improve health care quality and build healthy communities. The Cardinal Health Foundation also offers grants to encourage employee service to the community and works through international agencies to donate much-needed medical supplies and funding to those who need them in times of disaster. To learn more, visit

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.

For Media Inquiries, Contact:
Alisha Mark, (206) 341-1509

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