Ninety-four hospitals made the Leapfrog Group's 2014 top hospital lists, the Washington, D.C.-based group announced Tuesday. This year's total is four more institutions than Leapfrog had on its 2013 list.
“These Top Hospitals represent the best of American healthcare and deserve to be recognized for their commitment to prioritizing the safety and well-being of their patients,” said Leah Binder, Leapfrog's president and CEO, in a statement.
Sixty urban and nine children's hospitals made the list, joined by 25 rural facilities—the highest number of rural hospitals on the list since the category was introduced in 2009. Hospitals that make the list have met the organization's standards for high-risk procedures, have adequate physician staffing and have taken steps to prevent medication errors and infections, according to surveys completed by hospital officials.
The record number of rural facilities on the list comes even after Leapfrog heightened its standards for rural hospitals this year, now requiring that they must have computerized physician-order-entry systems, or CPOEs, that are operational in 75% of patient rooms, a spokeswoman said.
The top 2014 hospitals had to have scored at least 77 out of 100 based on both quality and resource use standards outlined in the survey. An “A” letter grade on Leapfrog's Hospital Safety Score system is also required for general acute-care hospitals. That score is determined by Leapfrog based on publicly available data.
Twelve facilities owned by the California not-for-profit healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente made the list, representing about a third of the company's 38 hospitals. Last year, the company claimed 19.
Some healthcare leaders have questioned the value of ratings and the methodologies various raters use, especially when an organization might do well in one survey and poorly in another.
Leapfrog's Binder has said that hospitals need to become more accustomed to the scrutiny that many other consumer products and services must endure.
“Consumers are accustomed to reviewing a lot of reviewers and coming to their own conclusions,” she said. “Hospitals shouldn't be exempt.”
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