The Leapfrog Group has engaged the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, part of Johns Hopkins Medicine, to provide analytical and scientific support for the Hospital Safety Score expert panel process, as well as the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. This partnership will ensure that the Hospital Safety Score and the Leapfrog Hospital Survey will both continue to be executed with scientific integrity and help link hospitals to evidence-based quality improvement efforts. Though the Armstrong Institute has been supporting The Leapfrog Group since the summer of 2012, today's announcement marks the formalization of a long-term agreement.
"Thanks to our membership of business leaders, Leapfrog has emerged as the nation's strongest proponents of transparency of healthcare data, and with that high profile comes an increasingly complex responsibility for scientific accountability. This new partnership assures that the information we give people to make life-and-death decisions about their hospital care are supported with the best evidence," said Leapfrog president & CEO Leah Binder, announcing the new engagement. "Moreover, the Armstrong Institute's proven success in catalyzing hospital improvement will work in synergy with Leapfrog"s efforts to utilize purchaser power to spur better safety and quality outcomes—now and in the future, as the science improves."
One of the projects of the engagement is working with the Leapfrog Blue Ribbon Expert Panel on the Hospital Safety Score, a letter grade rating of the safety of general hospitals in the US. This group of experts from across the country provides guidance on the methodology of the Hospital Safety Score and to the Leapfrog Board of Directors on the letter grades that are assigned to hospitals reflecting how safe they are for patients.
The new engagement will also facilitate more linkage for hospitals between their publicly reported performance and the evidence-based quality improvement strategies they undertake. For instance, Leapfrog has been publicly reporting hospital rates of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) since 2009, and has published data showing widespread variation among hospitals, with some hospitals able to eliminate CLABSIs and others showing high rates. The On the CUSP: Stop BSI project, based on the Armstrong Institute's work on eliminating central line infections in ICUs, will bring important support to hospitals seeking to improve their performance. The On The CUSP: Stop BSI project succeeded in reducing CLABSI nationwide by 40% among participants. "The Armstrong Institute has demonstrated that they are experts in applying research into practice in order to achieve results. We look forward to bringing this expertise to the work of The Leapfrog Group," said Binder.