Healthcare News & Insights

Leapfrog Group announces 2018 Top Hospitals: Lessons you can learn

The results are in: The Leapfrog Group has just announced its Top Hospitals for 2018 – and you may want to take note of the qualities that set these facilities apart from the pack. 

This year, the nonprofit honored 118 hospitals, per a news release: 13 children’s hospitals, 35 general hospitals, 53 teaching hospitals and 17 rural hospitals. Facilities were located throughout the country, but California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas had the most hospitals that received accolades.

Each hospital had to meet specific criteria to qualify. Across all categories, facilities had to rank in the top 10% of hospitals for their respective category and meet the Leapfrog Group’s standards for implementing computerized physician order entry, which helps reduce the risk of medication errors that could cause adverse events and other complications.

In addition, any facilities that are eligible to receive a Hospital Safety Grade must earn an A to be honored as a Top Hospital. Certain types of hospitals, such as children’s hospitals and surgical hospitals, are exempt from these scores.

Why Top Hospitals stand out

According to Leah Binder, president and CEO of the Leapfrog Group, Top Hospitals typically have a culture that’s committed to qualities such as leadership, teamwork and dedication to providing high-quality care to patients. They have excellent outcomes for measures such as reducing C-sections, preventing hospital-acquired infections and using technological advances to improve care.

Another key factor behind being recognized as a Top Hospital is complying with the Leapfrog Group’s Never Events policy. Originally, hospitals that adopted this policy were asked to perform four actions after a never event happens:

  1. Apologize to both the patient and their family.
  2. Waive all care costs related to the never event, including follow-up costs.
  3. Report the never event to an external agency.
  4. Analyze why and how the never event occurred.

Copies of the policy must be given to patients as well.

In 2018, the Leapfrog Group revised its Never Events policy. Now, its top-ranked hospitals must add four additional elements to their existing policies:

  • Interview patients and their families as part of the root-cause analysis.
  • Inform patients and their families of the steps the hospital’s taking to avoid similar events in the future.
  • Create a protocol to provide support for caregivers after never events.
  • Perform an annual review to make sure that each never event in the hospital was handled in accordance with Leapfrog’s Never Events policy.

As shown by Leapfrog’s top-performing hospitals, this strong commitment to preventing never events is an example of the work facilities must do to rise above the rest and provide the best care for their patients. Preventing hospital-acquired conditions and implementing value-based care initiatives are also key to succeeding and thriving in the current healthcare climate.

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