News | April 09, 2008

Northwest Hospital in Seattle Earns Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient Safety

April 10, 2008 - Northwest Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle this week was named among the top 5 percent of hospitals in the U.S. for patient safety based on a study by HealthGrades, a healthcare ratings company.

As a result of its findings, HealthGrades has recognized Northwest Hospital with the 2008 Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient Safety. 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 5,000 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 (bloodclot)
- 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. 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.

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

“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 and 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.”

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