Hospitals that participate in the Leapfrog Groups annual survey continue to struggle with implementing computerized physician-order entry systems, a feat that became harder in the past year as the organization launched stricter guides for having the systems.
The Leapfrog Group last week released its 2008 annual hospital survey that examines performance in a variety of evidence-based safety and quality measures endorsed by the National Quality Forum and CMS. The report found hospitals continue to fall short in fully meeting standards of care in high-risk areas such as aortic valve replacement, bariatric surgery, heart angioplasty and heart bypass surgery. In addition, while more hospitals are meeting the Leapfrog standard for intensive-care-unit staffing, they are still not complying with having a fully implemented, effective computerized physician order-entry system, according to the results.
The CPOE requirement became more challenging to meet in 2008, as Leapfrog added a new component to hospitals that wanted to be considered as fully meeting its standard. Hospitals have to first implement a CPOE system and then test it using an evaluation tool developed by the employer-led patient-safety group. Because of that extra testing step, the number of hospitals in the survey considered to be fully meeting the standard dropped to 7% in 2008 from 11% the previous year.
Leapfrog plans to release the scores of that testing in July. In the meantime, the organization is planning to develop a consortium with vendors to establish information technology best practices. An announcement on that new consortium is expected later in the summer.