More hospitals pledged this year to follow the Leapfrog Groups policy on medical errors, or never events, according to the latest results released from the groups annual survey.
Of the 1,220 hospitals that participated in the 2008 Leapfrog Hospital Survey, 63% said that they have implemented the never-events policy, up from 52% of hospitals in 2007, according to the patient-safety group. The never-events policy governs how providers should handle the aftermath of an error, which includes apologizing to the patient and family, publicly reporting the event, conducting a root-cause analysis and waiving all costs related to the care for the event.
Hospitals that agree to the pledge also are twice as likely to have a higher safe-practices score from Leapfrog, but adoption of the policy varies widely across regions, according to the survey. Fewer than 35% of hospitals in Arizona, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that participated in the survey said that they implemented the never-events policy. More than 90% of participating hospitals in Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine and Minnesota said that they have adopted it, according to the survey. Leapfrog, which already announced its list of this years top hospitals, is rolling out various results of the survey over the next few months. -- by Jean DerGurahian