Leapfrog sees list of top hospitals grow; jump in rural facilities noted

Just days after issuing its latest round of hospital-specific letter grades for patient safety, the Leapfrog Group has announced its annual list of top hospitals. Ninety-two hospitals in 26 states made this year's list, up from 65 in 2011.

Leapfrog credited that jump in part to the 13 rural hospitals that made 2012's list, compared with just three last year. “It's the largest group of rural hospitals we have ever had,” a Leapfrog spokeswoman said in an interview, adding that rural hospitals have made particular progress in implementing computerized physician-order entry systems.

“These hospitals in rural communities prove that hospitals of any shape, size and demographic can achieve the highest level of performance,” Keith Reissaus, vice president of Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana and Leapfrog's board chair, said in a Dec. 4 news release.

This year's list also included 67 urban hospitals and 12 children's hospitals.

The Washington-based healthcare quality-improvement organization, formed by large employers, chooses its yearly list of top performers using voluntarily submitted survey data from nearly 1,200 hospitals. The group's annual survey gauges provider performance based on use of health information technology, pneumonia care, nurse staffing and a range of other areas.

Leapfrog also began this year to include its hospital letter grades as a metric for selecting top facilities. All of the hospitals that made the top list received an “A” on the Leapfrog's Safety Score, the group said.

Launched in June, Leapfrog's Safety Score assigns letter grades to more than 2,600 hospitals, based on performance on 26 measures covering areas such as infection prevention and hand hygiene.



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