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Published on March 10, 2011

Overlake Hospital Medical Center Ranks Among the Top 5 Percent in the Nation for Patient Safety Four Years in a Row

Overlake Hospital Medical Center received the HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award™ for the fourth consecutive year, ranking it among the top 5 percent of U.S. hospitals for overall patient safety. In a new study released by HealthGrades, the nation's most trusted source of healthcare provider information, Overlake is one of only eight hospitals in Washington to receive this designation.

The study finds that Medicare patients at these top performing hospitals were 46.26 percent less likely to experience a patient safety event during the time period studied. In addition, if all hospitals performed at the same level of distinction as Overlake, approximately 174,358 patient safety events and 20,688 Medicare deaths could have been avoided. What's more, preventing these unnecessary events and deaths also saved the federal government approximately $1.8 billion in excess healthcare costs from 2007 to 2009.

The Eighth Annual HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study analyzes nearly 40 million hospitalization records from approximately 5,000 non-federal hospitals nationwide. Participation in the HealthGrades study is not voluntary, and hospitals cannot choose to opt out of the analysis.

"Patient safety is always top-of-mind at Overlake," said Craig Hendrickson, Overlake president and CEO. "By creating an environment focused on safety, Overlake is leading the way in providing exceptional care to our community. We're proud of our patient safety record and proud of earning this award four years in a row."

'This award underscores Overlake's position as one of the leading hospitals in the country and validates the skill, commitment and compassion of our physicians and staff," said Richard Bryan, vice president of Quality and Patient Safety at Overlake. "The recognition also gives our patients the added assurance that they are being cared for at one of Washington's top hospitals for patient safety."

"We've seen great advances in medical care in the last few decades, but along with these miraculous advances come greater and greater risks. Hospitals like Overlake Hospital Medical Center prove that it is possible to provide the best in medical care while still focusing on the safety of the patient," said Rick May, MD, vice president of Clinical Quality Improvement at HealthGrades and co-author of the study.

The Eighth Annual HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study evaluates patient safety in U.S. hospitals. HealthGrades uses Medicare inpatient data from the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) database and Patient Safety Indicator software from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to calculate event rates for 13 indicators of patient safety for all of the nation's hospitals. All analysis is based on data from 2007 to 2009 with the exception of Foreign Body Left After a Procedure which is based on data from 2009. These indicators identify the best-performing hospitals, or Patient Safety Excellence Award™ hospitals, which represent the top 5 percent of all U.S. hospitals. HealthGrades developed this award to give patients more information about choosing a hospital.

In the HealthGrades analysis, the following are the patient safety indicators studied:

  • Foreign body left in after procedure.
  • Death in low mortality Diagnostic Related Groupings (DRGs).
  • Pressure ulcer (bed sores).
  • Death among surgical inpatients with serious treatable complications (previously known as "Failure to Rescue").
  • Iatrogenic pneumothorax (collapsed lung).
  • Catheter-related bloodstream infections
  • Post-operative hip fracture
  • Post-operative hemorrhage or hematoma.
  • Post-operative physiologic and metabolic derangements.
  • Post-operative respiratory failure.
  • Post-operative pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis.
  • Post-operative sepsis.
  • Post-operative abdominal wound dehiscence.

Overlake Hospital Medical Center is a nonprofit, non-tax-supported regional medical center with a network of medical clinics throughout the Eastside. The hospital offers a comprehensive range of services including cardiac care, cancer care, general and specialty surgery, women's programs, senior care, psychiatric services and the first Level III trauma service on the Eastside. Overlake participates in a wide range of community outreach activities including health fairs and free health screening events, and offers wellness classes and wellness publications. For more information, visit

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