November 10, 2009 in City

Pelosi tours Seattle hospital to see health care in action

Kyung M. Song Seattle Times
Associated Press photo

Registered Nurse Caroline Truong displays a computer terminal to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Jim McDermott, left, and Rep. Jay Inslee on Monday at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.
(Full-size photo)

SEATTLE – Just two days after shepherding a landmark health care bill through the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Seattle on Monday to see how one hospital is already delivering care in much the same way as the bill proposes.

In her first public appearance since the House vote Saturday, Pelosi toured Swedish Medical Center flanked by two of her Democratic colleagues, Rep. Jim McDermott, of Seattle, and Rep. Jay Inslee, of Bainbridge Island, Wash.

Swedish, the area’s largest health care system, has won notice for many quality innovations. Earlier this year, it opened a new primary-care clinic in Ballard following the “medical home” model, in which teams of caregivers coordinate patient care using evidence-based medicine.

Pelosi, McDermott and Inslee briefly toured Swedish’s sixth-floor intensive care unit, where a nurse boasted the hospital has gone nearly two years without an infection in a patient on a ventilator.

Pelosi’s visit came after a narrow vote in the House and with an alternate bill facing tough odds in the Senate.

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