Greater Seattle is a global pioneer on many fronts to which health care is no exception. Virginia Mason, a nonprofit regional health care system that serves the Pacific Northwest, has helped to inspire new patient safety measures for England’s National Health Service.
The announcement was made yesterday at Virginia Mason by the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt. Hunt explained that the new initiatives to improve England’s health care system, which has been struggling with safety and quality failures of late, were developed after studying Virginia Mason’s commitment to patient safety. He noted that Virginia Mason is “…now regarded as one of the safest hospitals in the world.”
This is a tremendous and noteworthy accomplishment for Virginia Mason, which has completely transformed itself following a tragic death at its hospital 10 years ago. It is now a global pioneer in patient safety, as well as in applying lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery that has eliminated waste and lowered costs. In fact, last month Virginia Mason partnered with the Seattle Chamber and the Trade Alliance to lead a group of Greater Seattle leaders to the Toyota factory in Japan to learn more about the lean manufacturing process.