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SEATTLE (Aug. 17, 2010) - As our nation works on reducing cost and improving health care access for all Americans, organizations such as Seattle's Virginia Mason Medical Center are debunking the myth that quality can only come at a higher price. In the 2010 Leapfrog Group Survey results recently released, Virginia Mason has shown that providing high quality health care at a lower cost is not only achievable, it should be expected.
 
Virginia Mason again received the highest overall score of any reporting hospital in the Northwest in the latest Leapfrog survey. Virginia Mason also scored the highest in Washington state in both high-risk treatment safety ratings and overall patient safety ratings among all reporting hospitals. The latest results follow last December's Leapfrog announcement that Virginia Mason was one of only 37 hospitals and eight children's hospitals to be named to its prestigious Top Hospitals list.
 
"The role of quality in health care is of critical importance, and we strongly believe improving quality and reducing cost go hand-in-hand," said Gary S. Kaplan, MD, chairman and CEO at Virginia Mason. "We are proud of our Leapfrog scores. They are proof we are doing the right things at VM."
 
Those right things include fully meeting Leapfrog standards in 11 of 16 categories. Virginia Mason rated in the highest quartile in all four of the survey's measures for cost of care, including heart bypass surgery, heart angioplasty, heart attack and pneumonia. Virginia Mason also is in the top quartile for Leapfrog's "steps to avoid harm" ratings, which includes such practices as hand hygiene, reducing catheter-related infections, reducing ventilator-associated pneumonia, preventing urinary tract infections, and assessing and preventing blood clots.
 
For complete survey results and to compare hospitals, visit Leapfroggroup.org.
 
About Leapfrog
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.
 
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 more information, visit Facebook/VMcares or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter.

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