Leapfrog Adds New a Efficiency Standard to Its Quality Criteria for Top Hospitals and Introduces a Category for Top Rural Hospitals
While Congress debates whether healthcare reform would control healthcare costs, today employer purchasers point to 45 hospitals that lead through example — delivering the best quality care in the nation while attaining the highest levels of efficiency. Thirty-four urban, eight children’s and three rural hospitals have been named 2009 Leapfrog Top Hospitals, based on results from The Leapfrog Hospital Survey. The survey (found at www.leapfroggroup.org) is the only national, public comparison of hospitals on key issues including mortality rates for certain common procedures, infection rates, safety practices, and measures of efficiency.
Qualifying criteria for Leapfrog’s Top Hospital Award list remain virtually the same as 2008, with one added dimension: once hospitals demonstrate top quality, they must also rise to the top of the list on efficiency.
“This year’s class of Top Hospitals not only hits the mark in areas such as medication error prevention and preventing ICU deaths, but they also use their resources wisely, providing excellent and efficient outcomes for patients,” said Leah Binder, CEO, The Leapfrog Group. “Regardless of what happens to healthcare reform, these hospitals are the future.”
New this year
New this year, Leapfrog recognizes a new category: Top Rural Hospitals. The award winners in 2009 scored in the top decile nationally for efficiency and are located in Georgia and Maine.*
“Rural hospitals should be especially recognized as they often have higher hurdles to clear than their larger, urban counterparts in terms of access to capital and other resources,” said Binder, a former administrator of a rural hospital.
In 2009, Top Hospitals in urban settings fulfill the following criteria:
- Fully meet Leapfrog standards for implementing computer physician order entry (CPOE) systems (that have been shown to reduce medication errors by up to 85%), and for passing Leapfrog’s test of their system;
- Fully meet stringent performance standards for complex, high-risk procedures (such as heart bypass surgery) done in that particular hospital;
- Fully meet standards for staffing the ICU, shown to reduce mortality by 40% or more;
- Score in the top decile in the country for efficiency — scored by the Leapfrog Hospital Recognition Program incorporating quality outcomes, length of stay, readmission rates, and incidence of hospital acquired conditions and infections. The efficiency standard applies to heart bypass surgery, heart angioplasty, heart attack and pneumonia patients.
“We know from research that Leapfrog-reporting hospitals are among the best in the country, and they demonstrate through Leapfrog that they set ambitious goals for their performance,” said Binder, pointing to a study by Dr. Ashish Jha at Harvard Medical School, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Joint Commission in 2008, concluding that Leapfrog hospitals have lower mortality and better quality of care than those that don’t report to Leapfrog.
“Not all hospitals make the top hospital list, but every hospital that participates in Leapfrog deserves credit. They are fundamentally changing the hospital market into one that is highly responsive to the quality, cost and value needs of consumers and large buyers of health care,” said David Knowlton, Chair of The Leapfrog Group and President & CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute.
This year’s top urban hospitals are located in 13 states — Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington.*
Top pediatric hospitals in 2009 achieved a quality score of 95 or better through Leapfrog’s Hospital Recognition Program and are located in California, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.*
The Leapfrog Group (www.leapfroggroup.org) uses the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for Americans. The Leapfrog Group was founded in 2000 by the Business Roundtable, and is now independently operated with support from its members.
The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is the gold standard for comparing hospitals’ performance on the national standards of safety, quality, and efficiency that are most relevant to consumers and purchasers of care. Hospitals that participate in The Leapfrog Hospital Survey achieve hospital-wide improvements that translate into millions of lives and dollars saved. Leapfrog’s purchaser members use Survey results to inform their employees and purchasing strategies. In 2009, 1206 hospitals across the country completed The Leapfrog Hospital Survey.
*For a complete list of 2009 Top Hospitals visit www.leapfroggroup.org on December 3, 2009.
SOURCE The Leapfrog Group