November 08, 2018

Overlake Awarded Top-Ranking for Patient Safety – Leapfrog “A” in Fall 2018 | Nov. 8, 2018

Bellevue, Wash. – (November 8, 2018) Overlake Medical Center announced today it has been awarded an A safety rating from the Leapfrog Group, the 12th A rating in the past 13 rating cycles. The highest-possible rating, an A reflects Overlake’s dedication to maintaining an unparalleled level of patient safety, quality and experience in its hospital and clinics. Twice each year, the Safety Grade assigns letter grades of A, B, C, D and F to hospitals nationwide based on their performance in preventing medical errors, infections and other harms among patients in their care.

“This highest-level rating over 13 rating cycles is commendable because it reflects how Overlake is consistently doing the right thing for patient safety, quality and experience,” said Overlake Chief Medical Officer David Knoepfler, MD. Overlake uses multiple strategies for reducing harm and improving patient outcomes including:

  • Culture of Safety framework – based on transparency and an open safety event reporting system, the “Just Culture” program allows every individual to feel they are a respected contributor, working with others on their team to provide the highest level of service safely.
  • Daily safety huddles – representatives from every department in the hospital and clinics gather to review each safety report that was filed in the past 24 hours. Each department then conducts their own safety huddle.
  • I-on-Quality - monthly newsletter educates all staff and providers about institutional quality and safety initiatives, as well as industry news and safety reports for the purpose of raising awareness.
  • MEWS into EPIC – Overlake has integrated a Modified Early Warning System (MEWS) into its EPIC electronic medical records systems. When a patient experiences a sudden decline, the MEWS system proactively alerts providers. The result at Overlake: the number of rapid response team calls has doubled in the past two years, with the potentially life-saving benefit of reducing in half the number of Code Blue calls in which a patient’s heart or breathing has stopped.
  • Executive rounding – allows Overlake leadership hands-on experiences in a variety of jobs in the hospital and clinics from emergency department nurse to environmental services worker to dining services personnel.

“We are proud of the A rating as it signifies outside, independent confirmation of our excellent work,” said Tom Miller, MD, Overlake’s medical director of quality and safety. “When employees are not afraid to report errors or near misses, the problem-solving that follows facilitates systems-level changes which ultimately impacts every patient and staff member.”

Overlake was one of only 11 hospitals in Washington state to receive an A this cycle, one of only two hospitals in Washington to receive so many A grades in the past six years.  “Of the thousands of nationwide hospitals we rate each cycle, only a handful have achieved A’s in at least 12 of the last 13 cycles,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We are inspired by Overlake’s leadership on patient safety.”

Developed under the Blue Ribbon National Expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 27 measures of publicly available safety data to assign grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice-annually. It is calculated by top patient safety experts, peer reviewed and free to the public. 

For more information, or to contact David Knoepfler or Tom Miller, please contact Hilary Benson at 206.851.5115 or

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