Castlight conducted the first-of-its-kind analysis of The Leapfrog Hospital Survey’s Safety and Quality Data – an in-depth examination of seven key areas of hospital quality and safety: medication errors, maternity care, high-risk surgeries, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) physician staffing, serious adverse events, safety practices and hospital-acquired conditions (HACs). The report is based on hospital performance data gathered through the Leapfrog Hospital Survey of 1,437 U.S. hospitals in 2013.
Key findings include:
- More hospitals are adopting computerized physician order entry (CPOE) to reduce serious medication errors, with 616 hospitals fully meeting Leapfrog’s standard, a 65% percent increase from 2012. But some problems with performance of the systems persist, such as failure to alert on potentially fatal medication errors.
- Dramatic improvement in areas of maternity care – especially in reducing early elective deliveries, with the average rate of early elective deliveries declining from 11.2 percent in 2012 to 4.6 percent in 2013. However, too many high-risk babies are being delivered at hospitals that aren’t optimally equipped to care for them. In 2013, less than 24 percent of hospitals fully met Leapfrog’s high-risk delivery standard, a decline from 37 percent in 2011.
- Surprisingly high variance in predicted survival rates for high-risk procedures across hospitals, as well as hospital-acquired injury and infection rates. For example, the predicted mortality rate varies five-fold for esophagectomies; six-fold for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) repair; and 131 out of 1,302 reporting hospitals have hospital-acquired injury rates of over one in 1,000, which is considered alarmingly high.
- Better compliance with ICU physician staffing standards, shown to decrease mortality by as much as 40 percent. Notably, 41.7 percent of reporting hospitals fully meet this standard in 2013, as compared to 39 percent in 2012.
- Strong adoption of Leapfrog’s Never Events policy, with 80 percent of hospitals committing to abide by Leapfrog’s five principles when a Never Event occurs in their facility.
The report provides a call to action and serves as a catalyst for private purchasers and employers to work with hospitals directly to create safe, high quality care at an affordable price.