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The Leapfrog Group Names Swedish/First Hill Among Nation's Top Urban Hospitals for Third Straight Year

– Swedish/First Hill one of only 89 hospitals in the country recognized for achievement in providing the highest quality care in America

SEATTLE, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Leapfrog Group's annual class of 'Top Hospitals' – just 89 from a field of nearly 1,200 – will be announced today in Baltimore, Md., and includes Swedish Medical Center/First Hill for the third year in a row. The announcement will take place at Leapfrog's Annual Meeting.

The Leapfrog Group is a coalition of public and private purchasers of employee health coverage – including Boeing and the Washington State Healthcare Authority – that was founded more than a decade ago to work for improvements in health-care safety, quality and affordability. The 'Top Hospital' designation, which is the most competitive national hospital quality award in the country, recognizes hospitals that deliver the highest quality care by preventing medical errors, reducing mortality for high-risk procedures, and reducing hospital readmissions for patients being treated for conditions like pneumonia and heart attack.

"The Leapfrog Top Hospital distinction is by far the most competitive award a hospital can receive. Leapfrog holds hospitals to the highest standards on behalf of our purchaser members and their employees. By achieving the Top Hospital accolade, Swedish/First Hill has demonstrated exemplary performance across all areas of quality and patient safety that are analyzed on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. This hospital stands out as one consistently providing safe, high-quality care," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group.    

The 2012 list includes university and other teaching hospitals, children's hospitals and community hospitals in rural, suburban and urban settings. Selection is based on results of The Leapfrog Group's national survey that measures hospitals' performance in crucial areas of patient safety and quality. The results of the survey are posted on a web site open to patients, families, the public, employers and other purchasers of health care. It is the most complete picture available of a hospital's quality and safety. The web site is www.leapfroggroup.org/cp, which is also where a complete list of 2012 Leapfrog Top Hospitals can be viewed.

While numerous agencies and organizations collect and publicize hospital quality data, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, now in its twelfth year, is the toughest standard-bearer and provides the most complete picture of a hospital's quality and safety. The survey focuses on three critical areas of hospital care: 1. How patients fare; 2. Resource use; And 3. Management structures in place to prevent errors. In each of these three areas, Leapfrog asks hospitals to report on nationally standardized measures so health-care consumers can compare hospitals in their community and across the country.

In addition, hospitals are measured on their progress in preventing infections and other hospital-acquired conditions as well as adopting policies on the handling of serious medical errors, among other things.

"We are so proud to accept the Top Hospital Award from the Leapfrog Group for a third year in a row. Our Swedish/First Hill campus continues to set a high standard in health-care quality and patient safety across the country," said Mary Gregg, M.D., Swedish's director of Quality and Patient Safety. "This award reinforces our tireless work to provide the best care to our patients."

Dr. Gregg added that although Swedish Medical Center/Ballard is not eligible for the Top Hospital Award because it doesn't provide intensive-care services, just last week that campus received an 'A' Hospital Safety Score from the Leapfrog Group based on preventable medical errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

Three representatives from Swedish traveled to Baltimore to receive the Top Hospital Award. They included Chief Medical Officer John Vassall, M.D.; Director of Quality and Patient Safety Mary Gregg, M.D.; and Quality and Patient Safety Data Analyst Mike Weidemann.

About Swedish

Founded in 1910, Swedish is the largest non-profit health provider in the Greater Seattle area. It is comprised of five hospital campuses (First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, Edmonds and Issaquah); ambulatory care centers in Redmond and Mill Creek; and Swedish Medical Group, a network of more than 100 primary-care and specialty clinics located throughout the Greater Puget Sound area. In addition to general medical and surgical care including robotic-assisted surgery, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatric specialties, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit www.swedish.org, www.swedishcares.org, www.facebook.com/swedishmedicalcenter, or www.twitter.com/swedish.   

About Providence Health & Services

Providence Health & Services is a not-for-profit Catholic health care ministry committed to providing for the needs of the communities it serves – especially for those who are poor and vulnerable. In 2012, Providence affiliated with Swedish Health Services, expanding both organizations' ability to carry out their individual missions. With this affiliation, the combined scope of services includes 32 hospitals, 350 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing and many other health and educational services. The health system employs more than 64,000 people across five states – Alaska, California, Montana, Oregon and Washington – with its system office located in Renton, Washington. In 2011, Providence provided more than $651 million in community benefit, including nearly $204 million in free and discounted care for those who could not afford to pay for care. Providence Health & Services continues a tradition of caring that the Sisters of Providence began more than 155 years ago. In 2011, Swedish provided more than $145 million in community benefit in Western Washington. Together, Providence and Swedish are working to improve quality, increase access and reduce the cost of care in all of the communities they serve. For more information, visit www.providence.org.

SOURCE Swedish Medical Center/First Hill, Seattle

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