Highline Medical Center Earns National Quality Award: Hip and Knee Replacement Procedures are Among the Nation's Best

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Highline Medical Center has been recognized by the Premier healthcare alliance as a top performer nationwide in hip and knee replacement procedures. The award is based on performance-based criteria including clinical quality outcomes, clinical process indicators, and resource utilization outcomes. "We continue to focus on developing specific programs to improve clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction in all aspects of care and remain determined to become one of the best organizations in the Puget Sound region," Highline Medical Center CEO Mark Benedum said. "Receiving the distinguished Premier Quality Award for providing highest quality care in a cost effective manner is proof of our progress toward that goal," he added.

Receiving the distinguished Premier Quality Award for providing highest quality care in a cost effective manner is proof of our progress toward that goal.

Highline Medical Center has been recognized by the Premier healthcare alliance as a top performer nationwide in hip and knee replacement procedures. The award is based on performance-based criteria including clinical quality outcomes, clinical process indicators, and resource utilization outcomes.

"We continue to focus on developing specific programs to improve clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction in all aspects of care and remain determined to become one of the best organizations in the Puget Sound region," Highline Medical Center CEO Mark Benedum said. "Receiving the distinguished Premier Quality Award for providing highest quality care in a cost effective manner is proof of our progress toward that goal."

Highline has one of the lowest complication rates in the nation for patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgery. Highline is also one of the most efficient hospitals in terms of surgical resource allocation and maintains one of the highest compliance rates with the Surgical Care Improvement Program national patient safety measures.

Highline Medical Center is the only Puget Sound organization to earn a 2007 Premier Quality Award. Hospitals that submitted data to Premier's Perspective™ database -- the most comprehensive clinical, financial and operational comparative database in the nation -- between October 2005 and September 2006 were eligible to earn the 2007 Premier Quality Award. Highline was selected from a pool of 400 eligible hospitals.

Benedum said, "The award is a tribute to the teamwork of our physicians and staff," he said. "With hip and knee surgery, it starts with the orthopedic surgeons. They work closely with the anesthesiologists and collaborate with the nurses. Then, we have a physical rehabilitation program that is part of our Specialty Campus. It's a real advantage to our patients because all the services they need operate beneath a single umbrella."

Highline orthopedic surgeon John Lombardi, M.D. described the award as a great way to see how Highline compares nationally with patient outcomes. "This award objectively reflects the quality of care that we strive to achieve. We have minimized the risks of joint replacement to our patients at Highline to the degree that we are one of six hospitals nationally to achieve this award." While awards are great, Lombardi emphasized that what is important to the surgeon, surgical staff, and the hospital staff is that patients do well.

Scott Kennard, M.D., chairman of the anesthesiology department and operating room medical director at Highline Medical Center, said that the outcomes measured by Premier require that each member of the team performs consistently, uses hospital resources wisely, and works well together as a team. The result is that patients are happy with the service they receive and the experience they go through. Dr. Kennard said that much preparation is done to help patients get ready for hip or knee replacement surgery. "We explain carefully what's going to happen and why we suggest a specific plan of care," he said.

Kennard, who worked as an anesthesiologist at Providence Medical Center in Seattle for 18 years prior to joining Highline, observed, "It's great to work with a smaller facility that has the capabilities of earning national recognition. The Burien community has a jewel in its midst. This award really shows that Highline provides medical care that is as good -- if not better -- than at some larger hospitals."

About Highline Medical Center:

Highline Medical Center's (http://www.highlinemedicalcenter.com) comprehensive system of care includes two healthcare campuses, a state-of-the-art cancer center, and more than 20 clinics across southwest King county. From orthopedic surgery and obstetrics to heart care and home health, Highline Medical Center offers access to 275 medical experts from more than 30 specialties and offers the sophisticated technologies required to serve each. Through the Planetree model of care (http://www.planetree.org), Highline Medical Center is committed to caring for each patient with genuine respect, understanding and compassion.

Highline Medical Center will celebrate its 50th anniversary of service to patients residing in West Seattle to Des Moines and from Burien to Tukwila in 2008. The organization changed its name from Highline Community Hospital to Highline Medical Center in 2005 to acknowledge its growth and progress from a community hospital to a comprehensive medical facility. To learn more, visit http://www.HighlineMedicalCenter.org.

About Highline Medical Center CEO Mark Benedum:

CEO Mark Benedom lives in the community served by the medical center and has invested 23-years to build high quality programs and services. He began his Highline career as an associate administrator in 1984. He advanced to administrator of Highine Specialty Campus (formerly Riverton General Hospital) in 1989 and earned the position of chief operating officer in 2000 before accepting the CEO position January 1, 2007 He has contributed to major initiatives, such as building high-quality programs in geriatrics, psychiatry, rehabilitation services, addiction recovery, and home health and hospice. The opening of the Highline Cancer Center in October of 2005 was a big step in developing the medical center and demonstrating Highline's expertise in specialty care.

"My goal is that our commitment to excellence in our clinical outcomes and commitment to patient, staff, and physician satisfaction will cause people to choose Highline Medical Center because we're caring and convenient and because they are convinced that we deliver the best care. Our focus for the future continues to be demonstrating excellent clinical outcomes that are equal to what is available at any other health care organization in the Puget Sound," he said.

About Premier, 2006 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Recipient:

Serving 1,700 hospitals and more than 46,500 other healthcare sites, Premier is the largest healthcare alliance in the United States dedicated to improving patient outcomes while safely reducing the cost of care. Owned by not-for-profit hospitals, Premier operates the nation's largest healthcare purchasing network, the most comprehensive repository of hospital clinical and financial information and is one of the largest policy-holder owned, hospital professional liability risk-retention groups in healthcare. Headquartered in San Diego, Premier has offices in Charlotte, N.C. and Washington. For more information, visit http://www.premierinc.com.

Contacts: Mara Burke, Director, Community Relations, Highline Medical Center
206.431.5244, mburke @ highlinemedical.org or

Nancy S. Juetten, 425-641-5214, nancy @ nsjmktg.com

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