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Leah Binder Wants Your Hospital Data

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 18, 2013

But these aren't reported on CMS's Hospital Compare, and there isn't even a good measure to define how they should be counted.

But how? Where do you begin? Do you report medication errors that don't make it into the patient? What about mistakes that get to the patient but which don't cause harm? Or mistakes that cause harm, but not serious harm and which are quickly reversed?  Intravenous drugs or oral ones, or topical ones?

What's a good measure of medication error rate inside of a hospital?

"That's the challenge of creating a measure," Binder says. "How do you define it, what mistakes do you include, or exclude? Measure development is a science for a reason and [there are] lots of issues.

"It's tough.  But it's not impossible.

"But I just want something. Anything is better than nothing. I just want to know how many times a hospital harmed a patient with a medication error."

CMS is committed to transparency, Binder  believes. "But I want them to demonstrate that," she says. "I'm concerned, and worried, that we could have some reversal of the gains that purchasers and consumers have made in improving transparency over the past decade."

That, I think, is the real elephant in the room.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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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