|The Leapfrog Group Releases 2008 Hospital Survey
With the recently released 2008 Leapfrog Hospital
Survey, The Leapfrog Group became the first healthcare quality
organization to add a way for hospitals to be certain that their
computerized medication prescribing systems are actually catching
common, serious errors.
Each year more than one million serious medication
errors occur in US hospitals; many are life threatening. Leapfrog
tracks which hospitals employ computerized physician order entry (CPOE)
systems to try to catch potential mistakes before they happen, and
their effectiveness, Leapfrog said.
The Leapfrog Hospital Survey has been gauging the
quality of U.S. hospitals since 2001. Each year, over 1,300 hospitals
participate. Results are used by regional business coalitions in 37
major US markets to make purchasing decisions, according to Leapfrog.
Developed in partnership with First Consulting Group and
the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, Leapfrog’s CPOE
Evaluation Tool enables hospitals to determine how well their system
alerts users to common, serious prescribing errors, Leapfrog said.
The 2008 Survey requires hospitals to test their CPOE system in order to obtain the survey’s highest CPOE rating.
According to Leapfrog. for the first time on a national
hospital quality survey, measures have been added to evaluate how
efficiently hospitals use resources for several procedures and
conditions. These risk-adjusted efficiency measures rate how well
hospitals use resources for coronary artery bypass grafts (CABGs),
percutaneous coronary interventions such as angioplasty, acute
myocardial infarction (AMI), and pneumonia.
The inclusion of AMI and pneumonia (both common, acute
conditions that represent a large outlay of healthcare expenditures for
private healthcare plans) is new to this year’s survey, Leapfrog
Other additions to the survey are pressure ulcers and
"injuries occurring during the stay" – two hospital-acquired
conditions on the list of conditions for which the Centers for Medicare
and Medicaid Services (CMS) has said it will no longer pay.
Among other changes to the 2008 survey:
- The Leapfrog Survival Predictor – a new
composite measure that forecasts a patient’s odds of dying at a
particular hospital from certain high-risk surgeries;
- Extending the intensive care unit (ICU) staffing measure to neuro-ICU’s;
- Questions related to surgeon volume have been dropped, except for bariatric surgery; and
- Reducing from 30 to 13 the number of Safe Practices
evaluated in order to focus on those that have the strongest evidence,
are auditable, and are not measured in another way in a different
section of the survey.
The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is divided into four areas or "Leaps" of hospital quality and safety practices:
- High-risk treatments (CABG), percutaneouscoronary,
intervention, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, aortic valve
replacement, pancreatic resection, esophagectomy, bariatric surgery);
- ICU staffing by physicians experienced in critical care medicine; and
- Leapfrog Safe Practices (e.g. leadership, creating
and sustaining a culture of safety, improving information transfer,
medication management, hospital-associated infections and care
Hospitals completed the self-administered survey
beginning in April; individual results will be to be posted on The
Leapfrog Group Web site in July. Aggregated and analyzed results will
be published in the fall, along with the annual Leapfrog Top Hospitals
Address: Leapfrog Group, c/o Academy Health, 1150 17th St. NW, Suite 600, Washington DC 20036; (202) 292-6713, www.leapfroggroup.org.