Quality of Care: Leapfrog Hospital Survey
The health care industry is big business. Employers spend billions of dollars on health care for their employees every year. But nearly one-third of health care spending is deemed wasteful with unnecessary procedures, administrative costs and medical errors.
For many years, employers have struggled to provide high-quality health care to their employees. Oftentimes they don’t realize what choices are available or they are unaware of which providers are safe or had the best patient outcomes. In no other industry do we encounter this lack of transparency and accountability.
In a country where up to 400,000 lives are lost every year because of preventable medical errors, the Wyoming Business Coalition on Health is spearheading the movement in Wyoming and the region to bring transparency around safety, quality and resource use in our healthcare industry. Our goal is to provide employers with the means to find identify high-value health care so they can make better healthcare decisions in regards to their employees.
The Leapfrog Hospital Quality Survey was originated by the Leapfrog Group, a national non-profit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The Leapfrog Quality Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. Each participating hospital is given a Hospital Safety Score, or a letter grade, based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.
How It Works
Every year, hospitals throughout Wyoming demonstrate their commitment to transparency and quality improvement by participating in the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is free and open to hospitals each year from April 1st to December 31st.
The annual voluntary survey assesses hospital safety, quality, and efficiency based on national performance measures that are of specific interest to health care purchasers and consumers. The measures also provide hospitals with the opportunity to benchmark their progress in improving the safety, quality, and efficiency of the care they deliver.
Benefits of Participation
Participation in the survey provides hospitals with many benefits.
It is a checklist of the most current information on quality measurement and improvement. Hospitals could spend significant sums to get this information from consulting companies, but the Leapfrog Survey tool keeps them current at no cost.
Others say it has helped forge a more cooperative working environment among the staff and hospital leadership.
Several hospital administrators report that the data and subsequent dialogue with community members has raised the level of trust and created a more constructive conversation with local employers.
A RAND study found that reductions in hospital adverse events translated into lower malpractice premiums for local physicians – a hot topic here in Wyoming as we work to recruit doctors to the state.
Hospitals often pay consulting companies hefty fees ($100K or more) for comparative data, but Leapfrog provides it to those who report at no or low cost.
Finally, while participation in the survey is voluntary, we believe it demonstrates a commitment to being transparent to the community and to quality improvement.
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