Record Number of Hospitals Commit to Transparency, but Some Still Struggle to Provide Consistently Safe, High-Quality Care

July 9, 2015

Last year, just over 1,500 U.S. hospitals voluntarily completed the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the highest recorded participation to date. While hospitals are demonstrating an increased commitment to transparency, a new report released today by nonprofit hospital watchdog The Leapfrog Group calls for more hospitals to report to the Survey in order to help inform health care decisions for all Americans. The report is a summary of previous reports issued by The Leapfrog Group and Castlight Health, and contains newly released information on hospital-acquired conditions, ICU staffing, safe practices, and never events. The results, as analyzed by Castlight Health, revealed several areas of needed improvement.

“We’re excited to see a growing level of commitment from hospitals and I applaud those who have taken the steps to provide this level of transparency,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “As a result, we’ve seen a continued decrease in the national rate of early elective deliveries, as well as a number of strong improvements in key areas, including hand hygiene compliance and ICU staffing practices. Still, more work is needed. It’s essential we see this level of improvement in all areas of the health care system.”

"Patients are coming to expect insight into the value of care provided at hospitals just as they do for all other important decisions," said Dr. Jennifer Schneider, MD, MS, chief medical officer for Castlight Health. "Patients who search for hospital cost and quality information will be rewarded with higher-value care, and hospitals with the courage to report transparently will be rewarded with their business."


Key findings from this report include:

  • Never events policy compliance remains low. The rate of hospitals meeting Leapfrog’s standard has remained at 79 percent from 2012 to 2014, meaning one in five hospitals won’t commit to apologizing to the patient and waiving all costs associated with the event if a Never Event, such as a foreign object left in after surgery or an air embolism, occurs at their facility.
  • Rates of certain hospital-acquired conditions remain a problem. One in six Leapfrog reporting hospitals have higher infection rates than expected for central line infections (CLABSIs) and one in ten perform poorly in preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). 
  • Hospitals are struggling to comply with safe practices. Urban hospitals continue to outperform rural hospitals: about 20% more urban hospitals met Leapfrog’s standard for safe practices and showed greater year-over-year improvement in meeting the requirements.
  • More hospitals with intensive care units are complying with Leapfrog’s ICU Physician Staffing standard. Studies show that meeting the standard can reduce ICU mortality by 40%.

To view the complete report on the 2014 Leapfrog Hospital Survey results, click here

Today’s report is the last in a series of six reports examining key quality and safety measures at hospitals nationwide, based on data taken from the 2014 Leapfrog Hospital Survey of 1,501 U.S. hospitals and analyzed by Castlight Health. The initial reports on maternity care, high-risk procedures, computerized physician order entry (CPOE), nursing, and hand-hygiene are also available.


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