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What does Leapfrog ask hospitals?

In the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, Leapfrog asks hospitals if they adhere to the following four quality and safety practices. Significant scientific evidence shows that these practices reduce unnecessary deaths and injuries. 

  1. CPOE – choose a hospital that requires its staff to use computers to order medications, tests and procedures. This is called a Computerized Physician Order Entry system (CPOE). More information on Computerized Physician Order Entry.
  2. ICU Staffing – choose a hospital with an intensive care unit (ICU) that is staffed by doctors and other caregivers who have special training in critical care.  These are doctors are called ‘intensivists’. More information on ICU Staffing.
  3. High Risk Treatments – select a hospital with lots of experience and the best results for specific procedures, surgeries or conditions. This is known as Evidence Based Hospital Referral (High risk procedures). More information on Evidence-Based Hospital Referral.
  4. Leapfrog Safe Practices Score – select a hospital that has a high Leapfrog Safe Practices Score. This means it has put in place 17 key procedures to reduce preventable medical mistakes. More information on the Leapfrog Safe Practices Score.

Research commissioned by Leapfrog has shown that if the first three leaps were implemented in every non-rural hospital in the U.S. we could save over 57,000 lives, prevent up to 3 million medication errors, and save up to $12.0 billion each year (Lwin 2008).

Transparency Indicator

The transparency indicator is meant to recognize a hospital's efforts in making their quality and safety record public. In 2007, Leapfrog gave hospitals the opportunity to identify other patient safety and quality reporting initiatives in which they participate. By asking hospitals how many other, approved reporting efforts they participate in, leapfrog aims to provide consumers and purchasers access to even more data about a hospital’s quality and safety so that they can make the most informed health care decisions possible. Only organizations that meet fully a comprehensive list of criteria are included on our list of approved reporting organzations. More information on the transparency indicator, including a comprehensive list of our inclusion criteria and a list of the approved organizations and websites can be found at: http://www.leapfroggroup.org/transparency_indicator.

Never Events

In 2007, we started asking hospitals to institute our policy on Serious Reportable Events (or "never events"). Never events, as defined by the National Quality Forum, are occurrences that should never happen; for instance, surgery on the wrong body part or death due to contaminated drugs or devices. Leapfrog asks hospitals to agree to do the following if a never event occurs: 1) apologize to the patient and/or family; 2) report the event to at least one of the following agencies within 10 days of becoming aware that the never event occurred - Joint Commission, state reporting program for medical errors, or a Patient Safety Organization; 3) perform a root cause analysis; and 4) waive costs directly related to the adverse event.