New Report Details U.S. Hospital Performance

July 14, 2014

The Leapfrog Group today issued the results of 2013 Leapfrog Hospital Survey, an in-depth examination of seven key areas of hospital quality and safety: medication errors, maternity care, high-risk surgeries, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) physician staffing, serious adverse events, safety practices, and hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) – including infections in ICUs, pressure ulcers, and injuries. The report, prepared by Castlight® Health, is based on hospital performance data gathered through the Leapfrog Hospital Survey of 1,437 U.S. hospitals in 2013, the highest hospital participation rate to date in the annual survey. The report is available at

Key findings include:

  • More hospitals are adopting computerized physician order entry (CPOE) to reduce medication errors, with 616 hospitals fully meeting Leapfrog’s standard, a 65 percent increase from 2012. But some problems with performance of the systems persist, such as failure to alert on potentially fatal medication errors.

  • Dramatic improvement in areas of maternity care – especially in reducing early elective deliveries, with the average rate of early elective deliveries declining from 11.2 percent in 2012 to 4.6 percent in 2013. However, too many high-risk babies are being delivered at hospitals that aren’t optimally equipped to care for them. In 2013, less than 24 percent of hospitals fully met Leapfrog’s high-risk delivery standard, a decline from 37 percent in 2011.

  • Surprisingly high variance in predicted survival rates for high-risk procedures across hospitals, as well as in hospital-acquired injury and infection rates. For example, the predicted mortality rate varies five-fold for esophagectomies; six-fold for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair; and 131 out of 1,302 reporting hospitals have hospital-acquired injury rates of over one in 1,000, which is considered alarmingly high.

  • Better compliance with ICU physician staffing standards, shown to decrease mortality by as much as 40 percent. Notably, 41.7 percent of reporting hospitals fully meet this standard in 2013, compared to 39 percent in 2012.

  • Strong adoption of Leapfrog’s Never Events policy, with 80 percent of hospitals committing to abide by Leapfrog’s five principles when a Never Event occurs in their facility. 

“The Leapfrog Hospital Survey tells an important story about the performance of hospitals. We’ve commissioned this report on behalf of our membership of employers nationwide, so we can tell that story to American families and help people select the best hospitals,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog. “The stakes couldn’t be higher. Hospital errors remain the third leading cause of death in the U.S., so we want patients and purchasers to put safety first.”

“The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is in line with Castlight’s interest to bring greater transparency to U.S. health care costs, quality and outcomes,” said Jennifer Schneider, M.D., M.S., vice president of Strategic Analytics for Castlight Health. “We are pleased to bring our analytics capabilities to bear for this important project and to help identify quality and safety findings and areas for progress within the U.S. hospitals that participated in the survey.”

The report provides a call to action and serves as a catalyst for private purchasers and employers to work with hospitals directly to create safe, high quality care delivered at an affordable price. Key actions for employers that offer health care benefits include:

  • Review publicly available Leapfrog Survey data to better understand the quality and safety of the hospitals that serve their employees and their families.
  • Leverage Leapfrog Survey data when considering or innovating benefit design, particularly for those specific procedures examined in the report: childbirth, abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair, aortic valve replacement (AVR), pancreatectomy, and esophagectomy.
  • Consider the Leapfrog Survey results for hospital-acquired infection rates and ICU staffing in evaluation of high value providers, such as for a Center of Excellence program or Reference-Based Benefits program.
  • Urge hospitals to participate in the Leapfrog Hospital Survey to support greater transparency in health care and the movement toward value-based care.
  • Utilize a platform such as Castlight to educate and inform employees on how to find the safest and highest-quality care at the best price.


About The Leapfrog Hospital Survey

The voluntary Leapfrog Hospital Survey is a free, evidence-based tool that measures and publicly reports on national standards of safety, quality and efficiency, and is widely considered a gold standard in evaluating hospital performance. The Report is released during a period of dramatic growth for the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, which reported record voluntary participation of 1,437 hospitals in 2013. Employer coalition volunteers who initiate and lead Leapfrog’s Regional-Roll-Out (RRO) organizations encourage hospitals in their geographic areas to complete the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, and have demonstrated higher rates of voluntary hospital participation. For more information about the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, including a copy of the survey, please visit

About Castlight Health

Castlight Health, Inc. (NYSE: CSLT) believes great healthcare builds great business. The Castlight Enterprise Healthcare Cloud enables employers to deliver cost-effective benefits, provides medical professionals and health plans a merit-based market to showcase their services, and – most importantly – empowers employees to make informed choices with a clear understanding of costs and likely outcomes. For more information Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and Like us on Facebook. Source: Castlight Health.

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