WebMD Medical News
Louise Chang, MD
Sept. 18, 2007 -- Thirty-three hospitals and eight children's hospitals were
named top facilities by a health care business group Tuesday.
The facilities, mostly in large cities, got top scores for boosting patient
safety standards and for treating high-risk diseases according to scientific
evidence. Hospitals also got points if they used electronic prescribing
Hospitals in Oakland, Calif., Pittsburgh, Boston, and Seattle were among
those singled out by the Leapfrog Group, a group started by corporations and
other large employers worried about health care costs. Children's hospitals in
Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Detroit were also among top scorers.
The results are based on a survey of 1,285 hospitals.
To score well, hospitals were evaluated in four categories: having intensive
care units staffed by specially trained doctors, having computerized
order-entry systems for medications and other orders with error-prevention
measures, performing procedures such as cardiac catheterization and caring for
certain high-risk neonatal conditions, and performing safe practices such as
those designed to control hospital-related infections and cut down on
medication and treatment errors.
"It's critical that patients select hospitals with adequate experience
and a proven track record," says Suzanne Delbanco, CEO of the Leapfrog
A growing number of groups, including the federal government, are using
report cards to inform consumers about hospital safety. Like this one, the
report cards generally measure how often hospitals meet quality and safety
standards but don't measure how many patients actually get better or survive
Delbanco says that despite progress, only 10% of hospitals surveyed use
computerized systems to keep track of doctors' orders.
Hospitals are also behind on infection control, she says. Only one-quarter
of hospitals surveyed fully met the report's standards for optimal infection
control. And only 36% of hospitals have "adequate" hand washing
procedures in place for all employees, Delbanco says.
"Historically hospitals and docs have believed that hospital-acquired
infections are just part of health care," she told reporters Tuesday.
The 33 hospitals earning top scores were:
The eight top children's hospitals are:
SOURCES: Leapfrog Hospital Quality and Safety Survey, Leapfrog Group, Sept.
18, 2007. Suzanne Delbanco, CEO, Leapfrog Group. Center for Medicare and
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