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Leapfrog Releases Another Hospital Safety Report Card

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, October 23, 2013

The latest round of scores that measure rates of errors and infections, indicators of safe practices, shows an increase in the number of hospitals that earned the lowest score. Leapfrog's CEO Leah Binder calls that "a troubling trend."


Leapfrog Scores


>>>Lowest Leapfrog scores

The Leapfrog Group released its fourth safety report card for general acute care hospitals Wednesday noting that overall, there's been "very little improvement" in how well providers are preventing patient harm.

"I am surprised, because we would have hoped for more significant change than this, given the emphasis on patient safety we've seen for the past few years," said Leah Binder, Leapfrog president and CEO, in a phone interview. "Overall scores for these measures are only slightly better, and a couple of measures are slightly worse, but slight is the operative term."

A total of 2,539 acute care hospitals were graded. Leapfrog's weighted algorithm gave 813 hospitals an A, indicating hospitals with the safest practices and low rates of errors and infections; 661 received a B; 893 a C; 150 a D; and 22 hospitals received the worst grade of F. Of the 22 lowest-rated hospitals, eight or 36% are in California, something Binder could not explain.

The F is for hospitals with more than 3 standard deviations below the mean, "which is very significant," Binder said during a news briefing. "In the last round (in May, 2013), we had 16 hospitals with an F that were that far below the mean." The fact that there are now six more, she called "a troubling trend."

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