Each year more than 1,000 hospitals voluntarily complete an extensive nine-part survey that they hope will lead to them being named to The Leapfrog Group's top hospital list.
The survey, 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 performing 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.
Hospitals are also measured on their progress in preventing infections and other hospital-acquired conditions and adopting policies on the handling of serious medical errors. Criteria are weighted, value scores are applied, and then the hospitals face the toughest standard.
"We ask ourselves where we would send our children," Leah Binder, Leapfrog Group CEO, told HealthLeaders Media.
Hospitals that participate in the Leapfrog survey include academic medical centers, children's hospitals, and community acute care hospitals in urban, suburban, and rural settings. This year 65 hospitals made the cut and earned The Leapfrog Group's annual "Top Hospital" designation.
Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle has made the list six times.
The 336-bed medical center fully meets Leapfrog standards in five of seven patient safety ratings:
Virginia Mason has made some progress in meeting Leapfrog standards for reducing pressure ulcers and has made substantial progress in meeting the standards to reduce ICU infections.