By Rohit Bhalla, MD, MPH, Vice President of Quality and Chief Quality Officer
Especially as we acknowledged National Healthcare Quality Week last week in the United States, it was great to see that Stamford Hospital received an A on the Leapfrog Hospital Safety report card. 31% of hospitals received this designation nationally, as did only 4 out of 28 hospitals in Connecticut.
Hospitals are tremendously dedicated to safety and quality on a day to day, and minute to minute, basis. These efforts can be seen in the professionalism and attention to detail of members of interdisciplinary care teams, in adherence to the best evidence and clinical guidelines to improve care, and in the technologies we employ to make care safer, among many other measures.
The Leapfrog Group uses a subset of the many publicly reported measures, and stresses measures related to patient safety. These include measures such as:
- How well we have adopted safe practices: for example, our physicians use computers with medication safety checking features (instead of writing on paper)
- How well we put in place measures to prevent hospital complications: for example, we use blood thinning medications and devices to prevent blood clots in nearly all patients
- How well we do in preventing hospital acquired infection: for example, we insert large vein catheters with close attention to sterile technique, to attempt to ensure they do not become infected
In Leapfrog’s release this month, they updated all of their data, so that the measures now reflect work we have done in these and other areas in 2013 and 2014.
Transparency in healthcare is important, and a principle that we support. However, it’s important to also note that there are many hospital report cards, and that they are far from perfect. They all use different measures and grading approaches, and can reach different conclusions. We have written about this recently in the Stamford Advocate, as can be found here.
As the Leapfrog report underscores, healthcare workers take countless steps on a daily basis to make healthcare safe. It’s heartening to see these steps, which are so often “invisible” to patients, were recognized.
Rohit Bhalla, MD, MPH
VP, Chief Quality Officer
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