The Leapfrog Group’s annual class of top hospitals – 65 from a field of nearly 1200 – was announced yesterday in Washington, D.C., and included Nationwide Children’s Hospital on the list of only ten children’s hospitals.
“There are too few sources of information on the safety and quality of children’s hospitals,” said Leah Binder, CEO, The Leapfrog Group. “The Leapfrog Group is proud to be one of the only national sources of information that families can turn to when they are faced with the tough decision of which hospital is best for their child. Leapfrog’s safety and quality measures allow families to compare hospitals on things like preventing infections and putting practices in place that are known to reduce medical errors. We are honored to recognize Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a Leapfrog Top Hospital. Nationwide has out-performed other hospitals across the country and we congratulate them on their continued excellence and commitment to transparency.”
While numerous agencies and organizations collect and publicize hospital quality data, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, now in its eleventh year, is the toughest standard-bearer and provides the most complete picture of a hospital’s quality and safety. The 2011 list includes university and other teaching hospitals, children’s hospitals and community hospitals in rural, suburban and urban settings. The selection is based on the 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 website open to patients and 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 website is www.leapfroggroup.org.
“The Leapfrog Top Children’s Hospital designation is an affirmation that our Zero Hero quality and safety initiative is creating a culture in which every single employee recognizes and accepts a duty and responsibility to provide a safe day every day for every patient and family we serve,” said Steve Allen, MD, Nationwide Children’s CEO. “We are gratified to be on this list and it strengthens our resolve to provide quality care while ensuring the safest possible experience for our patients.”
Nationwide Children’s Zero Hero project was launched in July of 2009 and is designed to emphasize the safety role of every Nationwide Children’s Hospital employee. By striving to zero, the program seeks to eliminate preventable harm by 2013. The program teaches staff to incorporate behaviors into their everyday clinical activities that have been shown to reduce the likelihood of committing an error.
The Leapfrog survey, which launched in 2001, focuses on four critical areas of patient safety: the use of computer physician order entry (CPOE) to prevent medication errors; standards for doing high-risk procedures such as heart surgery; protocols and policies to reduce medical errors and other safe practices recommended by the National Quality Forum; and adequate nurse and physician staffing. In addition, hospitals are measured on their progress in preventing infections and other hospital-acquired conditions and adopting policies on the handling of serious medical errors, among other things.
A Leapfrog 2011 Top Children’s Hospital must achieve a Quality Score of 95 or better as calculated through Leapfrog’s Hospital Recognition Program, which uses standards from the Leapfrog Hospital Survey to calculate an overall quality score for each children’s hospital. The quality score, which is a numerical value from 0 to 100, includes Leapfrog’s standards for preventing medication errors (CPOE), ICU Physician Staffing, Safe Practices, Never Events, and in some cases preventing hospital-acquired conditions such as infections. Hospitals with high quality scores have demonstrated strict adherence to Leapfrog’s safety and quality standards.
The Leapfrog Group is a coalition of public and private purchasers of employee health coverage founded a decade ago to work for improvements in health care safety, quality and affordability. The annual survey is the only voluntary effort of its kind. More information with a complete list of the 2011 Leapfrog Top Hospitals is available at www.leapfroggroup.org.