The Leapfrog Group Announces 2009 Leapfrog Top Hospitals

December 3, 2009

While Congress debates whether health care reform would control health care costs, today employer purchasers point to 45 hospitals that lead through example—delivering the best quality care in the nation while attaining the highest levels of efficiency. Thirty-four urban, eight children's and three rural hospitals have been named 2009 Leapfrog Top Hospitals, based on results from The Leapfrog Hospital Survey. The survey is the only national, public comparison of hospitals on key issues including mortality rates for certain common procedures, infection rates, safety practices, and measures of efficiency.

Qualifying criteria for Leapfrog's Top Hospital Award list remain virtually the same as 2008, with one added dimension: once hospitals demonstrate top quality, they must also rise to the top of the list on efficiency. 

"This year's class of Top Hospitals not only hits the mark in areas such as medication error prevention and preventing ICU deaths, but they also use their resources wisely, providing excellent and efficient outcomes for patients," said Leah Binder, CEO, The Leapfrog Group. "Regardless of what happens to health care reform, these hospitals are the future."

New this year, Leapfrog recognizes a new category: Top Rural Hospitals. The award winners in 2009 scored in the top decile nationally for efficiency and are located in Georgia and Maine:

  • Polk Medical Center; Cedartown GA

  • Stephens Memorial Hospital; Norway ME

  • Waldo County General Hospital; Belfast ME

"Rural hospitals deserve special recognition as they often have higher hurdles to clear than their larger, urban counterparts in terms of access to capital and other resources," said Binder, a former administrator of a rural hospital.

In 2009, Top Hospitals in urban settings fulfill the following criteria:

  • Fully meet Leapfrog standards for implementing computer physician order entry (CPOE) systems (that have been shown to reduce medication errors by up to 85%), and for passing Leapfrog’s test of their system;
  • Fully meet stringent performance standards for complex, high-risk procedures (such as heart bypass surgery) done in that particular hospital;
  • Fully meet standards for staffing the ICU, shown to reduce mortality by 40% or more;
  • Score in the top decile in the country for efficiency – scored by the Leapfrog Hospital Recognition Program incorporating quality outcomes, length of stay, readmission rates, and incidence of hospital acquired conditions and infections. The efficiency standard applies to heart bypass surgery, heart angioplasty, heart attack and pneumonia patients.

"We know from research that Leapfrog-reporting hospitals are among the best in the country, and they demonstrate through Leapfrog that they set ambitious goals for their performance," said Binder, pointing to a study by Dr Ashish Jha at Harvard Medical School, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Joint Commission in 2008, concluding that Leapfrog hospitals have lower mortality and better quality of care than those that don't report to Leapfrog.

"Not all hospitals make the top hospital list, but every hospital that participates in Leapfrog deserves credit. They are fundamentally changing the hospital market into one that is highly responsive to the quality, cost and value needs of consumers and large buyers of health care," said David Knowlton, Chair of The Leapfrog Group and President & CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute.

This year's top urban hospitals are located in 13 states: Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington: 


2009 Leapfrog Top Hospitals

Mayo Clinic Hospital; Phoenix AZ

California Pacific Medical Center - Davies Campus; San Francisco CA

California Pacific Medical Center - California Campus; San Francisco CA

California Pacific Medical Center - Pacific Campus; San Francisco CA

Kaiser Permanente Anaheim Medical Center; Anaheim CA

Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center; Baldwin Park CA

Kaiser Permanente Bellflower/Downey Medical Center; Bellflower CA

Kaiser Permanente Hayward Hospital; Hayward CA

Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Hospital; Sacramento CA

Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Hospital; Sacramento CA

Stanford Hospital & Clinics; Stanford CA

University of California Davis Medical Center; Sacramento CA

NorthShore University HealthSystem's Highland Park Hospital; Highland Park IL

Northwestern Memorial Hospital; Chicago IL

Rush University Medical Center; Chicago IL

University of Maryland Medical Center; Baltimore MD

Baystate Medical Center; Springfield MA

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Boston MA

Brigham and Women's Hospital; Boston MA

North Shore Medical Center - Union Hospital; Lynn MA

Norwood Hospital; Norwood MA

Detroit Receiving Hospital; Detroit MI

Harper-Hutzel Hospital; Detroit MI

Mayo Clinic - Methodist Hospital; Rochester MN

Mayo Clinic Saint Marys; Rochester MN

Regions Hospital; Saint Paul MN

The Valley Hospital; Ridgewood NJ

University Medical Center at Princeton; Princeton NJ

James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute; Columbus OH

The Ohio State University Hospital; Columbus OH

Lehigh Valley Hospital; Allentown PA

Bon Secours St. Francis Health System; Greenville SC

Vanderbilt University Hospital; Nashville TN

Virginia Mason Medical Center; Seattle WA


Top pediatric hospitals in 2009 achieved a quality score of 95 or better through Leapfrog's Hospital Recognition Program and are located in California, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.


2009 Top Children's Hospitals

Childrens Hospital Los Angeles; Los Angeles CA

Children's Hospital of Orange County; Orange CA

Children's National Medical Center; Washington DC

Children's Hospital Boston; Boston MA

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota - Minneapolis; Minneapolis MN

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; Cincinnati OH

Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC; Pittsburgh PA

The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt; Nashville TN


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