SEATTLESwedish Medical Center said it completed an agreement to buy nearly 18 acres in Issaquah, Wash., to build a new hospital and health complex. The purchase price was not disclosed. Construction will begin in 2010, with an 80-bed facility to open in 2012. The hospital will ramp up to 175 beds by 2019, officials of the not-for-profit system said. Issaquah is a rapidly growing community about 17 miles east of Seattle, just off Interstate 90. The hospital will be located in Issaquah Highlands, a new development of 3,900 homes and 3.8 million square feet of commercial, civic and school space and other community facilities. Because it is part of a larger development, all the basic infrastructure is already in place, allowing us to quickly advance our planning efforts, Kevin Brown, Swedish's chief strategic officer said in a written statement. Brown said Swedish will expand on the success of its existing emergency department and specialty center in Issaquah, which opened in 2005.
SEATTLEWashington state hospitals and major nursing groups have signed an agreement on patient safety and staffing policies. The agreement calls for each hospital in the state to work with nurses to develop a staffing plan to improve quality and staff satisfaction. The parties will also develop a clearinghouse of best practices and examine the role of nurse staffing in medical errors. The agreement was signed by the Washington State Hospital Association, Northwest Organization of Nurse Executives, Local 141-United Staff Nurses Union of the United Food and Commercial Workers, the Washington State Nurses Association and several other unions representing nurses. Gov. Christine Gregoire, who was present at the signing of the pact, said it is part of her initiative to improve healthcare quality. The governor is seeking legislation to enact the agreement.