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Response to 'Association Between Hospital-Reported Leapfrog Safe Practices Scores and Inpatient Mortality,' Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA); April 1, 2009
Date:3/30/2009

Statement of Leah Binder, CEO

The Leapfrog Group

WASHINGTON, March 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --Today's JAMA study provides useful insight into the study of patient safety and inpatient mortality and will be used by The Leapfrog Group as we continually refine and improve the measures used in the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Where possible, the measures included in the Leapfrog Hospital Survey are used and endorsed by quality advocacy organizations such as The Joint Commission, National Quality Forum (NQF) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The study addresses only one of many elements of the Leapfrog Hospital Survey -- the Safe Practices Score, which is a bundle of 13 NQF-endorsed safe practices. The Survey contains other elements including: measures of efficiency, common acute conditions, hospital acquired conditions, and most importantly, Leapfrog's three original safe practices ("leaps") which, as the researchers point out, have well-established correlations with risk-adjusted mortality and other positive outcomes.

The fact that this study could be done at all attests to our commitment to 100% transparency of healthcare information and data. Unfortunately, the comparison data set used by the researchers - the Nationwide Inpatient Sample - limits the conclusions that can be generalized from this study, as acknowledged by the study's authors.

The comparison data set used by the researchers confined them to using data from only 24 states, for a total of 155 hospitals, or 14% of the Leapfrog-reporting hospitals. Leapfrog's annual survey includes over 1,282 hospitals from all 50 states. The Leapfrog Group's three original leaps - implementation of computerized physician order entry systems, intensivist staffing in ICUs, and evidence-based hospital referral (for high risk procedures) - have been studied extensively and linked to improved hospital o
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SOURCE The Leapfrog Group
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