Virginia Mason Medical Center

Virginia Mason Medical Center

A view of Virginia Mason Medical Center from 9th Ave. and Seneca St.
Location Seattle, Washington, United States
Funding Non-profit hospital
Founded 1920
Lists Hospitals in Washington

Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a private, non-profit organization located in Seattle, Washington, USA.


Virginia Mason Medical Center is organized into a "system of integrated health services:"[1]

Virginia Mason is affiliated with Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, Evergreen Healthcare, and St. Francis Hospital.[1]

Virginia Mason also engages in philanthropic efforts through its Virginia Mason Foundation, under the guidance of a community board.[1]


Virginia Mason Medical Center was founded in 1920 by three physicians: John M. Blackford, James Tate Mason, and Maurice Dwyer; it was named after the daughters of Blackford and Mason.[1] Two years later it created its own school of nursing, which became affiliated with the University of Washington in 1957.[3]

In 1960, Alan E. Nourse, who was an intern at Virginia Mason, wrote The Intern;[3] it was published by Harper & Row in 1965, under the pseudonym "Doctor X".[4]

In 1985, Virginia Mason installed the first lithotripter in the Pacific Northwest.[3]

In 2002, Virginia Mason spearheaded an effort to improve patient safety and quality of care by adopting the Toyota Production System (TPS) to health care. Named the Virginia Mason Production System, Virginia Mason was the first health care institution to implement the TPS philosophy throughout the institution. The two main tenets of this system are to minimize waste through just-in-time production and eliminate defects in the system by empowering staff to "stop the line" whenever they detect a patient safety or quality problem. The problem is then analyzed and a solution tested out in a Rapid Process Improvement Workshop. VMPS is reported to have saved the institution $12 to 15 million over the course of six years.[5] Their efforts have resulted in Virginia Mason consistently being named Leapfrog Group's top hospitals, and one of two top hospitals of the decade in 2010.[6]

In 2007, the Seattle Seahawks named their new training facility on Lake Washington the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, as "part of a broad Seattle Seahawks and Virginia Mason partnership to support the health and well-being of our community."[7]

In 2008, Virginia Mason Medical Center established a breast clinic staffed by nurse practitioners to provide comprehensive testing and interpretation services such as breast examinations, mammography, and ultrasound to reduce unnecessary imaging studies and physician visits.[8]

In 2012, Virginia Mason joined Cleveland Clinic, Geisinger Medical Center, Mayo Clinic, Mercy Hospital Springfield, and Scott & White Memorial Hospital as a preferred provider in Walmart's "Center of Excellence" employee healthcare program, as a specialist in cardiac procedures, including "coronary artery bypass grafting, heart valve replacement/repair, closures of heart defects, thoracic and aortic aneurysm repair"[9]

In 2014, the medical center announced that it will offer bundled payments and warranties for total hip and total knee replacements for self-insured employers and private insurers.[10]

Jeremy Hunt announced a five-year, £12.5m programme to bring in Virginia Mason to assist five English NHS trusts using clinical engagement and culture tools including the Patient Safety Alert System and electronic dashboard. Hunt said “The achievements at Virginia Mason over the past decade are truly inspirational and I’m delighted they will now help NHS staff to learn the lessons that made their hospital one of the safest in the world – patients will see real benefits as a result.” [11]

In 2016, Virginia Mason Medical Center formally affiliated with Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.[12]


  1. 1 2 3 4 "About Virginia Mason". Virginia Mason Medical Center. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  2. 1 2 3 "Our History". Virginia Mason Medical Center. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  3. Doctor X (1965). Intern. Harper & Row. OCLC 236622.
  5. "The Leapfrog Group Announces Top Hospitals of the Decade". Leapfrog Group. November 30, 2010. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
  6. "VMAC". 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-01-22. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  7. "Nurse Practitioner–Staffed Clinic Offers Same-Day, Comprehensive Appointments to Patients With Breast Symptoms, Leading to Faster Diagnosis and Lower Costs". Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2013-10-23. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
  8. "Free Cardiac And Spine Surgery For Walmart Employees At Six Hospitals". Forbes. October 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  9. "Seattle hospital offers warranty on hip, knee replacements". September 10, 2014.
  10. "US corporation brought in to help improve five trusts". Nursing Times. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  11. "Memorial Family of Services' Affiliation with Virginia Mason Is Official". January 5, 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
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