BROCKTON--For the first time, Good Samaritan Medical Center has been named to the Leapfrog Group’s annual class of top hospitals for quality and safety this year.
Good Samaritan is one of five in Massachusetts to achieve the distinction this year.
The Leapfrog Group’s annual class of top hospitals--65 overall from a field of nearly 1,200--was announced last Wednesday, December 1 in Washington, D.C. at Leapfrog’s 10th anniversary meeting.
“Earning the top hospital designation is a testament to the work of everyone in the hospital – the governing body, management, physicians, caregivers, employees, and volunteers,” said Leapfrog Chief Executive Leah Binder in a prepared statement.
The 2010 list includes university and other teaching hospitals, children’s hospitals and community hospitals in rural, suburban and urban settings.
The selection is based on the results of the Leapfrog Group’s national survey that measures hospitals’ performance in crucial areas of patient safety and quality. The results are posted on a Website open to patients and families, the public and employers and other purchasers of health care.
Officials said it is the most complete picture available of a hospital’s quality and safety. The website is www.leapfroggroup.org.
“Being designated as a Leapfrog Top Hospital is a tremendous accomplishment for the physicians, caregivers and employees of Good Samaritan Medical Center,” said Steven R. Gordon, president of Good Samaritan in a prepared statement. (Gordon, pictured above at right with Leapfrog's Binder)
“We work tirelessly to ensure that our patients receive the highest quality care in the safest environment. This honor speaks to the commitment and dedication of everyone at Good Samaritan in delivering the best care to our patients.”
Norwood Hospital, a sister hospital of Good Samaritan, both part of Steward Health Care, was also honored with a Leapfrog award for the second straight year.
The 1,200 hospitals that publicly report their performance via the Leapfrog Survey do so voluntarily. “In a way, that makes all of them top hospitals,” noted Binder. “It represents an enormous commitment by the institution to not only measure what they do against tough standards, but also to work for change and be transparent about it.”
The Leapfrog Group is a coalition of public and private purchasers of employee health coverage founded a decade ago to work for improvements in health care safety, quality and affordability. Initially organized by the Business Roundtable, it is now an independent advocacy group working with a broad range of partners, including hospitals and insurers. The annual survey is the only voluntary effort of its kind. Leapfrog officials say they plan to expand their efforts in the months ahead to work with consumer groups.
The survey, which launched in 2001, focuses on four critical areas of patient safety
the use of computer physician order entry or CPOE, to prevent medication errors;
standards for doing high-risk procedures such as heart surgery;
protocols and policies to reduce medical errors and other safe practices recommended by the National Quality Forum; and adequate nurse and physician staffing.
In addition, hospitals are measured on their progress in preventing infections and other hospital-acquired conditions and adopting policies on the handling of serious medical errors, among other things.
Leapfrog Board Chair David Knowlton, president of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute, pointed out that qualifying for the top hospital rank grows more difficult each year as Leapfrog’s standards evolve and new standards are added.
“Leapfrog’s members, as purchasers of care, and our partners and supporters believe that the challenges for American health care go far beyond just keeping costs down. Making certain that patients get the right care at the right time—value-–is an equal part of the equation,” he said in a statement.
(Photo courtesy Good Samaritan Medical Center)