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 outcomes, including reduced mortality.
Most recently, Dr. Ashish Jha from
The process and structure measures in the Safe Practices Score are perfectly sensible. The idea that creating a safety culture, ensuring an adequate nursing workforce, preventing central venous line infections, and requiring hand washing, among other safety practices, would lead to a safer environment seems obvious.
But clearly we cannot assume that structural and process improvements automatically lead to the outcomes we desire. The JAMA study challenges health services researchers and measure developers to devise more direct measures of outcomes.
The Leapfrog Group will consider this study carefully and with the support of health care researchers, consider several questions about the hospital survey:
About The Leapfrog Group
The Leapfrog Group (www.leapfroggroup.org). On behalf of the millions of Americans for whom many of the nation's largest corporations and public agencies buy health benefits, The Leapfrog Group aims to use its members' collective leverage to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for Americans. The Leapfrog Group was founded in November 2000 by the Business Roundtable and is supported by its members, The Commonwealth Fund, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and other sources.
|SOURCE The Leapfrog Group|
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved