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Statement of the Leapfrog Group on Hospital Overdose of Up to 17 Babies at CHRISTUS Spohn
Date:7/9/2008

The #1 Safety Hazard in Most Hospitals

WASHINGTON, July 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CNN reported this morning that up to 17 babies at CHRISTUS Spohn Health System (Corpus Christi TX) received overdoses of the blood thinner heparin last week. As of 11 am CDT, one of the babies has died; another is in critical and unstable condition.

"Incidents like this are the reason why computerized systems for ordering medication in hospitals has been The Leapfrog Group's number one safety measure that it urges all hospitals to take," said Leah Binder, CEO, The Leapfrog Group. "Studies suggest that computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems reduce medication errors by 50-100%."

"People need to ask whether their local hospital has a computerized medication system in place before they seek care. If they don't, they should ask why not," said Binder. "The Leapfrog website - http://www.leapfroggroup.org - has information on which hospitals have CPOE systems."

"Since advocating CPOE systems in 2001 when just 2.5% of hospitals responding to the Leapfrog Hospital Survey indicated that they had such a system, that number has increased to only 10.4% last year. And yet, seven thousand people each year continue to die from preventable medication errors. If this isn't a wake up call, I don't want to know what one really looks like," continued Binder.

The Leapfrog Group

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 (http://www.leapfroggroup.org) aims to use its members' collective leverage to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of health care. Leapfrog is a leading actor in the national movement to advance value in health care. Founded in November 2000 by the Business Roundtable, Leapfrog secures its support from major corporations, business coalitions and public agencies that purchase health care benefits, as well as from products and services that support value-based purchasing.


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SOURCE The Leapfrog Group
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