Northwest Hospital & Medical Center and Valley Medical Center Named Among Top Performing Hospitals for Patient Safety

Original Release: 10/16/2014
Media Contact: Karen Peck

Washington State Hospital Association’s “Achieving Best Care” award recognizes achievement in improving patient safety

SEATTLE, WA (Oct. 16, 2014) — UW Medicine announced today that two of its hospitals, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center and Valley Medical Center, were recognized for outstanding achievement in improving patient safety at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) in Seattle.

Northwest Hospital & Medical Center and Valley Medical Center earned the 2014 Washington State Hospital Association “Achieving Best Care” Award for their efforts to decrease patient harm through their participation in the Partnership for Patients national initiative, a nationwide collaborative effort to reduce the number of hospital-acquired conditions by 40 percent and hospital readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2014.

The initiative focuses on reducing harm in 10 key areas:

1. Adverse drug events
2. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
3. Central line-associated blood stream infections
4. Injuries from falls and immobility
5. Obstetrical adverse events
6. Pressure ulcers
7. Surgical site infections
8. Venous thromboembolism
9. Ventilator-associated pneumonia
10. Preventable readmissions

The “Achieving Best Care” Award was presented to hospitals that achieved the highest scores on harm reduction in the key areas. The scoring was based on the size of the hospital, the key strategies in which they were participating, and if they were in the top one fourth of high performing hospitals in the state. All of the top performers reached the Partnership for Patients goal of reducing harm by 40% and readmissions by 20% and many also reached a goal of zero harm over a sustained period.
Northwest Hospital & Medical Center and Valley Medical Center are among 14 WSHA hospitals to receive this award.

“Patient safety and quality is a top priority in our Patients Are First program at all UW Medicine hospitals & clinics,” said Johnese Spisso, chief health system officer for UW Medicine. “We are honored to be recognized for the excellent care delivered by our physicians and staff and appreciate their continued efforts to achieve the Triple Aim.”

“Everyone at Northwest Hospital strives to deliver high quality care and service each day, to every patient. Patient safety is a crucial component of excellent patient care, and I am proud that our efforts have been recognized by the Washington State Hospital Association,” said Cindy Hecker, Northwest Hospital’s executive director. “This award is a tribute to the dedication of all of our staff to the safety and well-being of our patients.”

“Every day at Valley Medical Center we continually monitor the care we provide to our patients to ensure each of our patients receives the safest, most responsible care possible,” said Rich Roodman, CEO at Valley Medical Center. “At Valley, patient safety has been and continues to be our number one priority.”

“The Partnership for Patients contract has enabled us to make impressive improvements in patient safety in all the participating hospitals,” said WSHA Senior Vice President for Patient Safety Carol Wagner. “Through extensive education, best-practice implementation, and rapid response to problems, the hospitals doing this work are helping to test and model the best ways to keep patients safe in the hospital. It benefits their patients, but it also benefits all patients.”

The Partnership for Patients initiative is being lead locally by the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) and nationally by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Washington State Hospital Association was one of 26 health care organizations in the U.S. to be awarded a Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) contract by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2011.

As a Partnership for Patients HEN, WSHA and the Washington State Medical Association have partnered to support hospitals and medical practices in Washington and Oregon in their efforts to reduce patient harm. By joining this initiative, hospitals and health care providers across the nation pledged to make health care safer, more reliable and less costly – ultimately saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars. WSHA provides member hospitals with trainings, data, tools and other resources to help them reach these patient safety goals. More information on the WSHA Partnership for Patients 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 2,000 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; orthopedics; medical rehabilitation; geropsychiatric center; diagnostic imaging; laboratory services; sleep medicine; and education and wellness programs, among others. In 2010, Northwest Hospital joined the UW Medicine health system. For more information about Northwest Hospital and its programs and services call 206-364-0500 or visit

About Valley Medical Center
Valley Medical Center (VMC) is a 321-bed acute care hospital and clinic network committed to providing safe, quality, and compassionate care for more than 63 years. The oldest and largest public district hospital in the State of Washington, VMC proudly serves over 600,000 residents in South King County. Dedicated to patient safety and improving the overall health of the community, VMC is a thriving medical center that focuses resources on major disease areas and specialties, including: emergency and trauma care, joint replacement, neuroscience, childbirth and Level III neonatal ICU, surgical services, critical care, cancer services, breast health, sleep medicine, diabetes education and much more. Through Valley Medical Group, a network of Primary Care clinics serve as a medical home for care management, Urgent Care clinics provide a safety net of after-hours care and walk-in consult and treatment, and over a dozen specialty clinics provide convenient access throughout the district. In 2011, Valley Medical Center joined the UW Medicine health system. For more information, visit

About UW Medicine
UW Medicine trains health professionals and medical scientists, conducts research to improve health and prevent disease worldwide, and provides primary and specialty care to patients throughout Seattle/King County and the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho) region. UW Medicine includes: Harborview Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, Valley Medical Center, UW Medical Center, UW Neighborhood Clinics, UW Physicians, UW School of Medicine and Airlift Northwest. UW Medicine also shares in the ownership and governance of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance with Seattle Children’s Hospital and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and shares in ownership of Children’s University Medical Group with Seattle Children’s Hospital.

UW Medicine has major academic and service affiliations with Seattle Children’s Hospital, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Veteran’s Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, and the VA Hospital in Boise, Idaho. The UW School of Medicine has been ranked No. 1 in the nation in primary-care training for the past 19 years by US News & World Report. It is the top public institution for receipt of biomedical research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and second among all institutions for NIH funding, public and private. UW Medicine’s 2,000 full-time faculty and nearly 5,000 clinical faculty across the WWAMI program include three living Nobel Prize winners (five in our history), 32 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 35 members of the Institute of Medicine, and 13 Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators. For more information, visit UW Medicine.

About the Washington State Hospital Association
The Washington State Hospital Association is a membership organization representing 99 community hospitals and several other health-related organizations. The association provides issues management and analysis, information, advocacy and other services.

In 2005, WSHA launched the Patient Safety program to help hospitals improve patient safety by supporting the wide-spread adoption of evidence-based clinical practices. WSHA works to improve the health of the people of the state by becoming involved in all matters affecting the delivery, quality, accessibility, affordability and continuity of healthcare.