7 Findings From Leapfrog's New Hospital Safety Report

The Leapfrog Group has released the Results of its 2013 Hospital Survey, an in-depth look at seven areas of hospital quality and safety: medication errors, maternity care, high-risk surgeries, intensive care unit physician staffing, serious adverse events, safety practices and hospital-acquired conditions.

The following are 7 things to know about the survey's findings:

1. A record number of hospitals participated in the 2013 survey, as 1,437 hospitals (37 percent of the nation's hospitals) submitted responses.

2. More hospitals are adopting computerized physician order entry to reduce medication errors. There was a 65 percent increase from 2012 in hospitals fully meeting Leapfrog's standard. Leapfrog's standard for CPOE is that at least 75 percent of medication orders across inpatient units are ordered through a CPOE system and the hospital has tested the system to ensure physicians are alerted to common, serious medication errors.

3. Areas of maternity care have shown dramatic improvement. Hospitals did especially well in reducing the number of early elective deliveries, as the average rate of EEDs dropped from 11.2 percent in 2012 to 4.6 percent in 2013.

4. However, too many very low birth-weight babies were delivered at hospitals that aren't fully equipped to care for them. Less than 24 percent of hospitals fully met Leapfrog's high-risk delivery standard, down from 37 percent in 2011.

5. Hospitals with ICUs are in better compliance with Leapfrog's ICU physician staffing standard to decrease mortality. The survey indicated that 41.7 percent of hospitals met Leapfrog's standards, which have been shown to reduce ICU mortality by as much as 40 percent.

6. Survival rates on four high-risk surgeries (esophagectomy, pancreatectomy, aortic valve replacement and abdominal aortic aneurism repair) differ significantly among hospitals. For example, for pancreatectomies, the predicted mortality rate varied from 0 percent to nearly 21 percent. For abdominal aortic aneurism repair, there was a seven-fold difference between the predicted survival at the best-performing hospital and the worst-performing hospital.

7. While 13 hospitals reached zero incidents in four hospital-acquired condition categories (central line-associated blood stream infections, CAUTIs, hospital-acquired pressure ulcers and hospital-acquired injuries), 454 were unable to reach zero incidents in any of the four categories.

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