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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: July 29, 2008
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 said.

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:

  • CPOE;
  • 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 processes).

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 list.

Address: Leapfrog Group, c/o Academy Health, 1150 17th St. NW, Suite 600, Washington DC 20036; (202) 292-6713,

  This article was taken from:
Pay-For-Performance Reporter

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