While Congress debates whether health care reform would control health care costs, today employer purchasers point to 45 hospitals that lead through example—delivering the best quality care in the nation while attaining the highest levels of efficiency. Thirty-four urban, eight children's and three rural hospitals have been named 2009 Leapfrog Top Hospitals, based on results from The Leapfrog Hospital Survey. The survey is the only national, public comparison of hospitals on key issues including mortality rates for certain common procedures, infection rates, safety practices, and measures of efficiency.
Qualifying criteria for Leapfrog's Top Hospital Award list remain virtually the same as 2008, with one added dimension: once hospitals demonstrate top quality, they must also rise to the top of the list on efficiency.
"This year's class of Top Hospitals not only hits the mark in areas such as medication error prevention and preventing ICU deaths, but they also use their resources wisely, providing excellent and efficient outcomes for patients," said Leah Binder, CEO, The Leapfrog Group. "Regardless of what happens to health care reform, these hospitals are the future."
New this year, Leapfrog recognizes a new category: Top Rural Hospitals. The award winners in 2009 scored in the top decile nationally for efficiency and are located in Georgia and Maine:
Polk Medical Center; Cedartown GA
Stephens Memorial Hospital; Norway ME
Waldo County General Hospital; Belfast ME
"Rural hospitals deserve special recognition as they often have higher hurdles to clear than their larger, urban counterparts in terms of access to capital and other resources," said Binder, a former administrator of a rural hospital.
In 2009, Top Hospitals in urban settings fulfill the following criteria:
- Fully meet Leapfrog standards for implementing computer physician order entry (CPOE) systems (that have been shown to reduce medication errors by up to 85%), and for passing Leapfrogâ€™s test of their system;
- Fully meet stringent performance standards for complex, high-risk procedures (such as heart bypass surgery) done in that particular hospital;
- Fully meet standards for staffing the ICU, shown to reduce mortality by 40% or more;
- Score in the top decile in the country for efficiency â€“ scored by the Leapfrog Hospital Recognition Program incorporating quality outcomes, length of stay, readmission rates, and incidence of hospital acquired conditions and infections. The efficiency standard applies to heart bypass surgery, heart angioplasty, heart attack and pneumonia patients.
"We know from research that Leapfrog-reporting hospitals are among the best in the country, and they demonstrate through Leapfrog that they set ambitious goals for their performance," said Binder, pointing to a study by Dr Ashish Jha at Harvard Medical School, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Joint Commission in 2008, concluding that Leapfrog hospitals have lower mortality and better quality of care than those that don't report to Leapfrog.
"Not all hospitals make the top hospital list, but every hospital that participates in Leapfrog deserves credit. They are fundamentally changing the hospital market into one that is highly responsive to the quality, cost and value needs of consumers and large buyers of health care," said David Knowlton, Chair of The Leapfrog Group and President & CEO of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute.
This year's top urban hospitals are located in 13 states: Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington:
2009 Leapfrog Top Hospitals
Mayo Clinic Hospital; Phoenix AZ
California Pacific Medical Center - Davies Campus; San Francisco CA
California Pacific Medical Center - California Campus; San Francisco CA
California Pacific Medical Center - Pacific Campus; San Francisco CA
Kaiser Permanente Anaheim Medical Center; Anaheim CA
Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center; Baldwin Park CA
Kaiser Permanente Bellflower/Downey Medical Center; Bellflower CA
Kaiser Permanente Hayward Hospital; Hayward CA
Kaiser Permanente Sacramento Hospital; Sacramento CA
Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Hospital; Sacramento CA
Stanford Hospital & Clinics; Stanford CA
University of California Davis Medical Center; Sacramento CA
NorthShore University HealthSystem's Highland Park Hospital; Highland Park IL
Northwestern Memorial Hospital; Chicago IL
Rush University Medical Center; Chicago IL
University of Maryland Medical Center; Baltimore MD
Baystate Medical Center; Springfield MA
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Boston MA
Brigham and Women's Hospital; Boston MA
North Shore Medical Center - Union Hospital; Lynn MA
Norwood Hospital; Norwood MA
Detroit Receiving Hospital; Detroit MI
Harper-Hutzel Hospital; Detroit MI
Mayo Clinic - Methodist Hospital; Rochester MN
Mayo Clinic Saint Marys; Rochester MN
Regions Hospital; Saint Paul MN
The Valley Hospital; Ridgewood NJ
University Medical Center at Princeton; Princeton NJ
James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute; Columbus OH
The Ohio State University Hospital; Columbus OH
Lehigh Valley Hospital; Allentown PA
Bon Secours St. Francis Health System; Greenville SC
Vanderbilt University Hospital; Nashville TN
Virginia Mason Medical Center; Seattle WA
Top pediatric hospitals in 2009 achieved a quality score of 95 or better through Leapfrog's Hospital Recognition Program and are located in California, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.
2009 Top Children's Hospitals
Childrens Hospital Los Angeles; Los Angeles CA
Children's Hospital of Orange County; Orange CA
Children's National Medical Center; Washington DC
Children's Hospital Boston; Boston MA
Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota - Minneapolis; Minneapolis MN
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; Cincinnati OH
Childrens Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC; Pittsburgh PA
The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt; Nashville TN