A relatively new grading score, Leapfrog Grades for hospitals focuses solely on hospital safety. Just like assignment grades in school, The Leapfrog Group applies either an A, B, C, D, or F letter grade to make choosing the safest hospital as easy as possible for consumers. Aiming to provide information about the quality of care, safety, and more, The Leapfrog Hospital Survey provides voluntarily shared data about everything from hospital protocols and handwashing policies to C-section rates and how often patients are being readmitted.
In 2012, after reading that 400,000 people die annually due to preventable mistakes in hospitals from the Journal of Patient Safety, the Leapfrog Group decided to share hospital information directly with the consumers. Updating their survey twice per year, the Leapfrog hospital survey shares critical information, such as how likely patients are to experience accidents, injuries, errors or harm while in the hospital.
Hospitals with a letter grade of A have fully met the most rigorous standards set by volunteer health care safety and quality experts, while the F grade should caution consumers of frequenting that hospital.
Data from these surveys are not exclusively used for consumers. Several national and regional health plans and vendors use the information to educate their users about hospital safety; as well as to educate employers and purchasers of the best facilities for employee health and to aid employees in choosing by providing Leapfrog data on health care plan websites. The letter grade also shines a spotlight on local community hospital safety records and earns the attention of consumer media in that area.
Leading the way to consumer safety, Leapfrog’s groundbreaking reporting helped lead to a decrease of early elective delivery rates by 84% nationwide, as the Group worked to inform soon-to-be parents of safety information and the precautions to take with childbirth.
This organization has arguably set the bar for health care organizations to continue to push for better care. However, this should only be thought of as a start, as the Leapfrog data relies on transparency, communication and continuous improvement from hospitals around the nation.