« All Events

Virginia Mason CEO Named One of Most Influential People in Healthcare for 7th Time

SEATTLE – (Aug. 24, 2015) – Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD, is No. 15 on the annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare, announced today by Modern Healthcare magazine. Last year he was ranked No. 36.

This is the seventh time Dr. Kaplan has made the national publication’s elite roster of Most Influential People. The list is determined by the magazine’s readers and editors, with each group’s vote accounting for 50 percent toward the ranking.

“This national recognition is a testament to Dr. Kaplan’s visionary leadership that has helped establish Virginia Mason as a pacesetter in innovation that is transforming health care,” said Jim Young, chair, Virginia Mason Health System and Virginia Mason Medical Center Boards of Directors.

In addition to serving as chairman and CEO of Virginia Mason since 2000, Dr. Kaplan is a practicing physician and chair of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Board of Directors. He is a founder of Health CEOs for Health Reform and a member of the National Patient Safety Foundation Board of Directors.

In April, Dr. Kaplan was named one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare magazine for the 10th straight year.

Under Dr. Kaplan’s guidance, Virginia Mason has earned an international reputation for innovation, quality and safety. In 2002, the organization embraced the lean manufacturing principles of the Toyota Production System as its management methodology for eliminating waste, controlling cost, and improving quality, safety and the total patient experience. More than 5,000 people from 20 nations have since participated in Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS) seminars offered by the non-profit Virginia Mason Institute. Last month, Virginia Mason was chosen by the National Health Service (NHS) of England to implement VMPS processes at NHS hospitals to improve care quality, patient safety and operational efficiency.

« All Events

England Selects Seattle’s Virginia Mason Institute to Improve Patient Safety, Control Health Care Costs

Virginia Mason Institute announced today it has been selected by England’s National Health Service Trust Development Authority (NHS) to implement Virginia Mason’s management system as part of a broad effort to improve safety and quality, and control costs at NHS hospitals.

Virgi(nia Mason Institute team members will train and mentor health care professionals at five NHS acute-care hospital trusts to use the Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS). This is the innovative management methodology Virginia Mason developed and has used to measurably improve care quality and patient safety while earning acclaim as one of the safest hospitals in the U.S.

“We are honored to partner with the National Health Service and to share what we have learned about transforming health care and putting patients’ interests first and foremost,” said Virginia Mason Health System Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD, “Patient safety is our No. 1 priority.”

The contract awarded Virginia Mason Institute is for five years and approximately $13 million.

“The achievements at Virginia Mason over the past decade are truly inspirational and I’m delighted they will now help the NHS empower staff to replicate the ground-breaking work that made their hospital one of the safest in the world,” said Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health in England.

VMPS, developed by Virginia Mason in 2002 and inspired by Toyota Production System’s lean principles, engages executives, physicians, nurses and other team members at all levels of the organization to improve safety and quality, and control costs. It provides structured, standardized tools and methods for achieving operational efficiencies, eliminating waste (i.e., anything that does not add value from the patient’s perspective), preventing mistakes and sustaining momentum for continuous improvement.

The Patient Safety Alert system, for example, is a cornerstone of Virginia Mason’s culture of safety. Each of the organization’s approximately 6,000 employees, regardless of their job or title, is a safety inspector and authorized to file an alert anytime he or she suspects a potential hazard. An alert notifies a patient safety specialist and the senior executive responsible for the area or process affected by the alert. An investigation is launched to address the problem as quickly as possible.

Virginia Mason is consistently recognized as one of the best and safest hospitals in the nation in independent evaluations of Medicare and other data by organizations, including The Leapfrog Group, a coalition of employers advocating for increased transparency, safety and quality in health care, and Healthgrades, a national online public resource for information about hospitals and physicians.

Meanwhile, Virginia Mason is the lowest-priced hospital by admission type in the Seattle market, according to the Washington State Health Alliance Report on hospital sticker price variation. “We are proving that the pathway to the highest quality and safest care is the same pathway to lower cost,” Dr. Kaplan said.

Virginia Mason Institute, the education arm of Virginia Mason Health System, was created in 2008 in response to the growing demand for information about VMPS. Since then, more than 5,000 people (most representing health care) from 20 countries have attended VMPS seminars offered by the institute.

“Through focused education, training, and executive and operational coaching, our approach to transformation prepares organizations to deliver safe, high-quality care efficiently and effectively by creating a culture characterized by innovation and motivation,” said Diane Miller, executive director, Virginia Mason Institute. “This enables organizations to solve problems and challenges they face today and are likely to face in the future.”

« All Events

Virginia Mason named a ‘Most Wired’ health system for fourth straight year

Virginia Mason has been named one of the “Most Wired” health systems in the nation for the fourth consecutive year by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, the publication of the American Hospital Association.

The 17th annual Most Wired Award, announced in the magazine’s July edition, recognizes organizations that are leaders in leveraging information technology (IT) for clinical decision support, safety and the overall patient experience.

“This recognition is a testament to the pursuit of excellence that distinguishes teams across our organization supporting IT solutions that improve the overall patient experience,” said Bill Poppy, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Virginia Mason.

Virginia Mason achievements with clinical information technology include a computerized physician order entry system, an integrated inpatient and outpatient electronic health record, a barcode system to mistake-proof medication administration, electronic imaging of paper records and a secure Web portal called My Virginia Mason, for which 110,000 individuals have enrolled to date. Using this 24-hour online resource, patients can view lab results, renew prescriptions and access a summary of their medications, allergies, immunizations and medical issues.

Virginia Mason has been on the Most Wired list since 2012.

« All Events

Virginia Mason to Receive 2015 Washington Quality Award for Improving Patient Safety

Virginia Mason will receive a 2015 Washington Award of Excellence in Healthcare Quality for reducing the risk of potentially fatal blood clots in patients.

The award will be presented on May 13 by Qualis Health President and CEO Jonathan Sugarman, MD, MPH, during a ceremony at the Northwest Patient Safety Conference in Lynnwood, Wash. Qualis Health is one of the nation’s leading quality improvement and population health management organizations.

Virginia Mason is being honored for a multiyear project, titled “Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Prophylaxis Journey,” in which clinical teams developed standard processes designed to prevent VTE, the third-most common cause of hospital-related deaths in the United States. (A venous thrombus is a blood clot within a vein. A VTE occurs when a blood clot breaks loose and travels in the blood).

The Virginia Mason project began in 2009 when multiple interventions were put in place, including implementing an evidence-based VTE protocol in all admission orders, establishing real-time visual cues that prompt risk assessment for patients, and improving patient education.

Also, the hospital has achieved a 20-month rolling average of 100-percent compliance with VTE prophylaxis in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU); a 12-month rolling average of 97.4 percent compliance on all non-ICU floors, and dramatically shortened lead times for VTE ordering and patient-risk assessments.

“Providing high quality care and ensuring patient safety are our highest priorities at Virginia Mason,” said Charleen Tachibana, RN, senior vice president for Quality and chief nursing officer at Virginia Mason. “Our work to reduce VTE risks mirrors our commitment to transforming health care by continuously improving quality and safety, and raising the bar for excellence.”

Virginia Mason is one of seven organizations in Washington that are receiving awards from Qualis Health for achievements in improving care quality and outcomes. This is the fourth year Virginia Mason has won the award for excellence; it was recognized for different quality and outcome initiatives in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

“Our changing health care landscape requires increasingly vigorous efforts to improve health care delivery and health outcomes in Washington and across the nation,” Dr. Sugarman said. “The Qualis Health Washington Quality Awards celebrate organizations that have transformed health care delivery for their communities – making a real difference for their patients and their families. Their achievements exemplify the aims of improved health care: better quality of care at a lower cost.”

Since 2002, Qualis Health has presented Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality to organizations in Idaho and Washington. The awards recognize demonstrated outcomes that support the three broad aims of the National Quality Strategy: Better health care (for individuals); better health (for populations); and reduced cost through improvement. Learn more about Qualis at www.QualisHealth.org.

« All Events

Virginia Mason Earns Outstanding Patient Experience Award for 3rd Consecutive Year

Virginia Mason was named a recipient of the Healthgrades’ Outstanding Patient Experience Award for the third consecutive year.

“When patients come to a hospital, they expect great service and a positive experience just like any other industry,” said Virginia Mason Chairman and CEO Gary S. Kaplan, MD. “This award is due to the hard work of all our team members dedicated to ensuring every patient has a remarkable experience at Virginia Mason.”

This distinction makes Virginia Mason the only hospital in Seattle named a three-time award recipient, and places the organization among the top 10 percent of hospitals in the nation for patient experience. Also, this makes Virginia Mason the only hospital in the state to be named among America’s 100 Best Hospitals and among America’s best for Patient Experience.

Healthgrades, an online resource for information about physicians and hospitals, evaluated Virginia Mason’s performance as assessed by the hospital’s patients across 27 different questions that roll up to 10 distinct measures. Ranging from cleanliness and noise levels in a patient room, to factors such as pain management and responsiveness to patient’s needs, the measures also include whether a patient would recommend the hospital to friends or family.

Healthgrades evaluated 3,575 hospitals that submitted patient surveys to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, covering admissions from January 2013 through December 2013, to assess those hospitals that are leading the nation in delivering the best patient experience. To be eligible for the patient experience award, hospitals had to meet additional clinical quality requirements. This ensures recipient hospitals are delivering strong outcomes in addition to an excellent patient experience during the hospitalization.

Only top-performing hospitals received the 2015 award, and Virginia Mason is one of six award winners in Washington State.

“Today, more than ever before, consumers face decisions – and research their options – relating to where to obtain care, so factors like patient experience are increasingly important,” said Evan Marks, chief strategy officer, Healthgrades. “Consumers can have confidence that hospitals that have achieved the Healthgrades 2015 Outstanding Patient Experience Award deliver a positive experience for patients during their hospital stay.”

« All Events

Virginia Mason Receives Top Honors for ‘Green’ Health Care

Virginia Mason has received the most prestigious environmental achievement award offered by Practice Greenhealth.

During a ceremony in Portland, Ore. yesterday, Virginia Mason was presented a Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award that recognizes the health system for setting high standards for environmental practices in health care.

Award winners were chosen from hospitals that have the highest scores for the Greenhealth Emerald Award using Practice Greenhealth’s scoring and evaluation system. Practice GreenHealth is a leading health care community that empowers its members to increase their environmental safeguards while improving patient safety and care.

“Virginia Mason is one of the greenest hospitals in the nation,” said Brenna Davis, director, Sustainability. “This achievement is a testament to the tireless efforts by everyone at our organization to protect the natural environment for current and future generations.”

Through its EnviroMason environmental stewardship initiative Virginia Mason diverted more than 3,400 tons of waste from landfills between 2009 and 2013. It recycles more than 50 percent of its waste overall, compared to the health care industry average of 20 percent. With its energy conservation programs, Virginia Mason avoided using 7.3 million gallons of water and 3.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity from 2012 through 2014. Those energy savings equate to estimated cost savings of $439,664 in water and $607,498 for electricity during the three-year period.

Also, Virginia Mason recently joined nine other leading health care institutions in launching the 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge a global campaign to mobilize hospitals and health systems to do even more to protect the environment.