Detroit-based Health Alliance Plan (HAP) reported it has posted the 2003 Leapfrog Group Hospital Quality and Safety Survey results on its Web site, www.hap.org.
The company said the information will help health care consumers, HAP members and employers evaluate the safety and quality practices at HAP-affiliated hospitals and make more enlightened decisions about their health care.
“HAP supports the efforts of The Leapfrog Group in sharing information with consumers on how local hospitals assure patient safety at their facilities,” said Mary Beth Bolton, M.D., HAP senior vice president and chief medical officer. “We’re committed to improving the quality of care HAP members receive and helping members get the best medical outcomes possible. We applaud the participation of our hospital partners and recognize their commitment to quality and safety.”
The Institute of Medicine reported in 2000 that medical errors cause as many as 98,000 deaths annually, and many of these errors are preventable. Improving patient safety and quality of care are some of the most critical issues in medicine today.
The hospital survey results on HAP’s Web site are based on the industry-recognized ratings of The Leapfrog Group, a national coalition of purchasers, health plans and employer groups. Michigan hospitals voluntarily participated in the survey, which measured their current performance status against three key quality and safety standards that may reduce preventable medical mistakes and improve the quality of health care.
The survey reveals the progress hospitals have made in implementing the following safety initiatives:
—Evidence-based Hospital Referral: Patients who go to hospitals with extensive experience and the best outcomes with certain high-risk surgeries and procedures have the best chance of surviving and successfully recovering from surgery.
—ICU Staffing: ICU personnel are physicians specially trained to care for critically ill patients in Intensive Care Units. There is evidence of a direct correlation between the level of training and availability of ICU staff and the quality of patient care.
—Computerized Drug Orders: Electronic prescribing systems designed to automate physician medication orders and other tests and automatically check for potential errors or problems, such as possible drug interactions. Such systems reduce serious prescribing errors.
The Leapfrog Group’s research indicates that meeting these quality standards in urban hospitals could save an estimated 65,000 lives and prevent as many as 900,000 serious medication errors each year.
Members and purchasers can access the hospital survey results on HAP’s Web site at www.hap.org. HAP will post updated survey results as they are released from The Leapfrog Group each year. The 2004 survey results will include a new measure that scores hospitals on 27 safety practices.
Purchasers can use The Leapfrog Group survey results to educate and inform employees about patient safety and the importance of comparing hospital performance and to recognize and reward providers that meet the quality standards.
The Leapfrog Group, a national coalition of more than 150 purchasers, health plans, and employer groups representing more than 350 million health care consumers, is an industry leader in fostering health care improvements to reduce medical errors and improve patient safety. HAP joined The Leapfrog Group in 2003.
For more information about The Leapfrog Group, visit www.leapfroggroup.org.
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