Leapfrog Survey Selects 65 Institutions From a Field of Nearly 1200;
Baystate Makes Honor Roll for Third Time
Baystate Medical Center is again a member of the Leapfrog Group’s annual class of top hospitals for safe and high-quality patient care, announced today in Washington D.C.
The Springfield teaching hospital, western campus of Tufts University School of Medicine, was one of 65 leaders selected from almost 1200 hospitals surveyed nationwide.
Children’s Hospital Boston, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center and Norwood Hospital joined Baystate Medical Center as Massachusetts honorees. A complete list of 2010 Leapfrog Top Hospitals can be viewed at www.leapfroggroup.org.
“Making the Leapfrog honor roll for the third time is certainly a gratifying accomplishment, one that everyone at Baystate Medical Center is very proud of,” said Dr. Evan Benjamin, senior vice president of Healthcare Quality for Baystate Health. “But what’s even more important is the growing recognition that hospitals must not only challenge themselves to ever-higher levels of quality and safety in their care; they must also do everything possible to help patients recognize and understand quality measures and outcomes at any hospital where they’re getting care.”
The 2010 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 are posted on a website open to patients and families, 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.
“This is the largest number of hospitals to achieve the top hospital designation since the award’s inception in 2006,” noted Leapfrog Chief Executive Officer Leah Binder.
The 1200 hospitals that publicly report their performance via the Leapfrog Survey do so voluntarily. “In a way, that makes all of them top hospitals,” said Binder. “It represents an enormous commitment by the institution to not only measure what they do against tough standards, but also to work for change and be transparent about it. And it’s a signal to employers and other health care purchasers in their community that these hospitals care.” According to the American Hospital Association, there are about 5000 hospitals in the U.S.
Employers and other large purchasers of health care founded Leapfrog and request hospital participation.
Leapfrog Board Chair David Knowlton, president of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, pointed out that qualifying for the top hospital rank grows more difficult each year as Leapfrog’s standards evolve and new standards are added. “Leapfrog’s members, as purchasers of care, and our partners and supporters believe that the challenges for American health care go far beyond just keeping costs down. Making certain that patients get the right care at the right time—value–is an equal part of the equation.”
Baystate Medical Center isn’t just pursuing and delivering excellent care in the clinical setting; it is also engaged in research to understand what factors are behind the safest and highest-quality care. The hospital in 2008 established the Center for Quality of Care Research, which is involved in several national studies of healthcare quality and outcomes, and is already approaching $3 million in cumulative grant funding. The Center will share findings of its research nationally to help hospitals everywhere deliver better, safer and more efficient care.
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. Initially organized by the Business Roundtable, it is now an independent organization working with a broad range of partners, including hospitals and insurers. The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is the only voluntary effort of its kind. Leapfrog officials say they plan to expand their efforts in the months ahead to work with consumer groups and other national organizations to get the hospital survey results in front of more individuals making decisions about where to receive care.
The 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.
About Baystate Medical Center
Baystate Medical Center is an academic, research and teaching hospital that serves as the western campus of Tufts University School of Medicine. It is the major referral care center and only Level 1 trauma center for western Massachusetts, and is home to the state’s second-busiest emergency room. One of Thomson Reuters’ top 50 U.S. hospitals for cardiovascular care, Baystate Medical Center is also designated a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence, and is a six-time winner of the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence. www.baystatehealth.org/bmc