A Culture of Quality and Safety at Swedish

Our No. 1 Priority: Quality Care and Patient Safety

True then, true now.

From our founding in 1910, Swedish has been at the forefront of patient safety and care quality. When founder Dr. Nils Johanson arrived in Seattle more than a century ago, he quickly discovered there were no hospitals that lived up to his standards for care quality and sterile technique. And so he created one. Dr. Johanson's legacy and leadership live on today at Swedish, where our highest priority continues to be on quality and safety for every patient we touch through our hospitals and clinics.

Swedish is proud to report quality data. We believe that public reporting of data leads to:

  • Better informed consumers. With multiple sources, you can find quality scores, pricing information, and outcomes data that allow every consumer the opportunity to quickly choose the highest quality, most cost-effective care for their needs.

  • Continuous improvement.  We have more data now than ever. By tracking and understanding the latest trends and opportunities for improvement, Swedish is able to continuously identify and implement evidence-based care improvements.

  • Collaboration between hospitals and outside quality experts.

Safety initiatives at Swedish today:

Below is a sampling of some of the patient safety efforts at Swedish.

  • First and foremost, our commitment to quality is expressed through our Culture of Patient Safety.

  • Patient identification. Reliable identification is a critical component of safety. In 2013, we adopted new procedures to improve methods of patient identification throughout the system.

  • New beds. All beds are now specially-equipped to reduce bed sores and give patients greater safety from falls.

  • Reduction of surgical infections. Appropriate and evidence-based practices are used to reduce surgical infections and surgical complications are used on an ongoing basis.

  • Hand hygiene. A focused approach to hand hygiene is performed with every patient contact. Each inpatient unit is audited, and results are displayed in front of every unit.

  • Use of disease specific quality measures. Stroke, congestive heart failure, severe infection, pneumonia and many other conditions are monitored by our quality and patient safety team to assure that evidence-based practices are followed to get the best results possible.

  • Reduction in medication errors. We use bar codes to assure that patients get the correct medications at the correct times. We track any medication errors, and take a systems approach to assuring medication safety in our organization. As an additional step in medication safety, we provide resources to help patients document and monitor their medications at home.

  • Reducing healthcare associated infections. We monitor healthcare-associated infections and use evidence-based best practices to minimize them.

  • Outcomes research. Swedish shares information on quality and patient safety with local and national medical and hospital organizations. This allows us to compare our performance to that of other quality focused hospital systems.

  • Cardiac acute care. Our door-to-balloon time (time between emergency room and operating room) is among the best in the state for heart attack treatment.