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Leah Binder Wants Your Hospital Data

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 18, 2013

The AHA specifically wants the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to remove public reporting on Hospital Compare of nine so-called hospital-acquired conditions, sometimes called "never events," such as forgetting to remove a metal retractor after surgery.

Binder referred to an incident in which surgeons forgot to remove one such surgical tool "the size of a crowbar" from a patient's abdomen. I can, from my newspaper days, recall a similar incident I wrote about involving a 14" by 2" metal retractor left inside a surgical patient.

The hospital industry wants to "suppress" information like this, Binder says.  So far, CMS has said it is not taking these measures off its website, although a report this spring indicated they might.

Here's an excerpt from Binder's blog:

We used these nine measures in our Hospital Safety Scores —letter grades assigned to more than 2,500 general hospitals warning consumers of their propensity for deadly mistakes. We found that some hospitals have many more of these never events than others. And the public deserves to know which hospitals protect patients best.

"But the American Hospital Association (AHA) and its lobbyists disagree. They did not want hospital data on these never events, as well as some other terrible measures, publicly reported. They acknowledge these events happen, but they say the government wasn't measuring them in a way that's perfectly fair to hospitals."
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2 comments on "Leah Binder Wants Your Hospital Data"


Leah Binder (7/19/2013 at 10:32 AM)
Ms. Dyster, Thank you for participating in Leapfrog. And congratulations on making Truven's Top 100 list. It is very encouraging to all of us at Leapfrog to hear from leaders like you committed to transparency and making clear progress. With regard to medication errors, we use a proxy measure on the Leapfrog Survey[INVALID]CPOE adoption coupled with the evaluation tool on its effectiveness. The research is strong that this standard gives consumers critical information about a hospital's likelihood of medication errors (and gives hospitals information available nowhere else about the performance of their CPOE systems). Of course, best would be a measure of the prevalence of medication errors in each hospital. We're always looking for advances in measurement science that would allow us to add that to the survey.We await the scientists.

Ruth Dyster (7/18/2013 at 5:01 PM)
Ms. Binder, I have long been an advocate for this hospital reporting to Leapfrog. This year, for the first time we submitted data. We are a good hospital, Truven Top 100, but not a perfect hospital. I think you answered your own question and desire. Until a measure is defined for Medication Errors, how can they be reported. I suppose you are very much involved with others in the quality arena in devising such a definition - I hope so and applaud your efforts