Hospitals Give Leapfrog Safety Scores a Failing Grade

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , June 7, 2012

The safety score also has embarrassed some of the leading healthcare institutions in the country. For example, Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and Cleveland Clinic will have to explain their "C" grades.

Henry Ford's communications office sent this response:
“Although we no longer participate in Leapfrog, we understand that the criteria evaluated differs from one agency to another. As a result, hospital systems often rank very differently in Leapfrog, HealthGrades, US News, Baldrige, and the like.

"As a health system, we look at each of our hospital's scores, and try to learn from the best practices in order to provide a consistently high quality experience with every episode of care. In the Leapfrog data, Henry Ford Macomb Hospital received an A, so we will work to learn and improve throughout our health system.”

One major concern from hospitals is how Leapfrog weighted the measures in the algorithm. The scorecard uses safety information from two sources. One is the Medicare database, which is collected from all hospitals except those in Maryland.

But the rest comes from data that about 1,000 hospitals that participate in Leapfrog's program voluntarily submit, such as the extent to hospital's doctors use computerized physician order entry systems or employ a full time intensivist in the intensive care unit.

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10 comments on "Hospitals Give Leapfrog Safety Scores a Failing Grade"

cheryl clark (6/13/2012 at 9:40 AM)
Difference between an adverse event and an event that causes harm. It's my understanding that an adverse event is something that happens that would could have adverse consequences to a patient, but may not have. For example, let's say that a patient gets the wrong medication. That's an adverse event, it wasn't supposed to happen. It was a mistake in care. But it didn't cause the patient harm. (They got aspirin instead of a prescription medication, for example.) the mistake was quickly caught, the patient got the right meds. It's serious, though, because the mistake might not have been caught or the error may have involved a wrongly administered medication that has a higher risk of harmful side-effects. So there is a subtle difference between adverse events and harm. Clearly Jim Lott is correct, that 1/3 of the patients in hospitals are not worse off after their care than before it.

R Daniel King (6/12/2012 at 10:14 AM)
Dear James Lott: The definition of "adverse" contains "detrimental" which means "something that impairs, injures, or causes loss." I believe any patient subjected to an "adverse" event would say they were "harmed."

James Lott (6/11/2012 at 4:37 PM)
Dear R.D. King and Nurse Day: To say that 1 in 3 hospitalized patients experience an "adverse event" is not the same as "...1 in 3 patients suffers HARM from their hospital care." (emphasis added to Ms. Day's quote)




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