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Northwest Hospital & Medical Center Earns Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient Safety

2008 HealthGrades study puts Northwest Hospital among top 5% of safest hospitals in the U.S.

SEATTLE, April 8, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Northwest Hospital & Medical Center today announced that it has again been named among the top 5% of hospitals in the U.S. for patient safety based on a study by HealthGrades(R), the nation's leading healthcare ratings company. As a result of its findings, HealthGrades has recognized Northwest Hospital with the 2008 Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient Safety(TM). It is the second year in a row the hospital has received this distinction.

Northwest Hospital is one of only 249 organizations in the nation, and one of only nine in Washington State to receive the award for 2008.

In its fifth annual "Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study," HealthGrades independently analyzed almost 41 million Medicare patient records from nearly 5000 nonfederal hospitals over a three-year period, using 13 patient safety indicators developed by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The 13 patient safety indicators measured included:

-- Death in illness or medical procedure categories that typically have a low mortality rate

-- Decubitus ulcer (pressure or bed sore)

-- Failure to rescue

-- Foreign body left in during procedure

-- Iatrogenic pneumothorax (collapsed lung)

-- Selected infections due to medical care

-- Post-operative hip fracture

-- Post-operative hemorrhage or hematoma

-- Post-operative physiologic and metabolic derangements, or complications

-- Post-operative respiratory failure

-- Post-operative pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis (blood clot)

-- Post-operative sepsis (bacterial infection of the blood stream)

-- Post-operative abdominal wound dehiscence (rupture)

The analysis showed that Northwest Hospital had one of the lowest patient-safety incident rates among its Medicare patients. In fact, according to the study, patients at hospitals that receive the Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient Safety are, on average, 43 percent less likely to experience an adverse, preventable event during their stay.

Also according to the study, if all U.S. hospitals had performed at the level of HealthGrades 2008 Distinguished Hospitals for Patient Safety(TM), approximately 220,106 patient safety incidents and 37,214 Medicare deaths could have been avoided while saving the U.S. approximately $2 billion from 2004 to 2006 alone.

"We are proud to receive the Patient Safety award from HealthGrades for a second year in a row," said C. William Schneider, CEO of Northwest Hospital & Medical Center. "It reflects years of daily, behind-the-scenes efforts by each member of our staff to ensure patient safety and quality of care, from our physicians and nurses, to the dozens of committees and small working groups dedicated to performance improvement. It is the work of these people that continues to help Northwest Hospital achieve this type of recognition."

A full copy of the HealthGrades study can be found at

About Northwest Hospital & Medical Center

Founded in 1960, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center is a full-service, non-profit hospital located minutes north of downtown Seattle. With 281 licensed beds, more than 1,600 employees and all private rooms, it offers some of the most innovative, technologically advanced medical care available. Major clinical programs and services include: emergency services; critical care; cardiac care; neurosciences; stroke center; cancer care; childbirth services; bariatric surgery; sports medicine; medical rehabilitation; geropsychiatric center; Gamma Knife(R) Center; diagnostic imaging; laboratory services; and education and wellness programs, among others. For more information about Northwest Hospital and its programs and services, call (206) 364-0500 or (206) 633-4636 for the Physician Referral Line, or visit


Karen Peck

Northwest Hospital & Medical Center


SOURCE Northwest Hospital and Medical Center
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