– Swedish/First Hill one of only 89 hospitals in the country recognized for achievement in providing the highest quality care in America SEATTLE, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Leapfrog Group's annual class of 'Top Hospitals' – just 89 from a field of nearly 1,200 – will be announced today in Baltimore, Md., and includes Swedish Medical Center/First Hill for the third year in a row. The announcement will take place at Leapfrog's Annual Meeting. The Leapfrog Group is a coalition of public and private purchasers of employee health coverage – including Boeing and the Washington State Healthcare Authority – that was founded more than a decade ago to work for improvements in health-care safety, quality and affordability. The 'Top Hospital' designation, which is the most competitive national hospital quality award in the country, recognizes hospitals that deliver the highest quality care by preventing medical errors, reducing mortality for high-risk procedures, and reducing hospital readmissions for patients being treated for conditions like pneumonia and heart attack. "The Leapfrog Top Hospital distinction is by far the most competitive award a hospital can receive. Leapfrog holds hospitals to the highest standards on behalf of our purchaser members and their employees. By achieving the Top Hospital accolade, Swedish/First Hill has demonstrated exemplary performance across all areas of quality and patient safety that are analyzed on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. This hospital stands out as one consistently providing safe, high-quality care," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. The 2012 list includes university and other teaching hospitals, children's hospitals and community hospitals in rural, suburban and urban settings. Selection is based on results of The Leapfrog Group's national survey that measures hospitals' performance in crucial areas of patient safety and quality. The results of the survey are posted on a web site open to patients, families, the public, employers and other purchasers of health care. It is the most complete picture available of a hospital's quality and safety. The web site is www.leapfroggroup.org/cp, which is also where a complete list of 2012 Leapfrog Top Hospitals can be viewed. While numerous agencies and organizations collect and publicize hospital quality data, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, now in its twelfth year, is the toughest standard-bearer and provides the most complete picture of a hospital's quality and safety. The survey focuses on three critical areas of hospital care: 1. How patients fare; 2. Resource use; And 3. Management structures in place to prevent errors. In each of these three areas, Leapfrog asks hospitals to report on nationally standardized measures so health-care consumers can compare hospitals in their community and across the country.