Similar to its fall report, Leapfrog's latest analysis shows wide variation in patient safety performance across hospitals. Leapfrog graded 2,479 hospitals this spring, of which 750 earned A's, 683 scored B's, 879 received C's, 145 got D's, and 22 were given F's.
Hospitals nationwide can tackle persistent patient safety issues by considering them more in value-based purchasing programs, Binder said.
"A lot of the value movement has been aimed at quality outcomes and pricing, and they have overlooked the third leg of the stool, which is safety," she said.
Leapfrog is working with the CMS to integrate patient safety measures into value-based purchasing programs so hospitals will have additional incentives to focus on patient safety.
Leapfrog calculates the grades using 27 measures, including hand hygiene, falls and pressure ulcers. The data are derived from the CMS, Leapfrog's own hospital survey, and secondary data sources such as the American Hospital Association.
Leapfrog also announced Tuesday that it's taking public comments on two proposed changes to its methodology. The not-for-profit has suggested lowering the number of points hospitals will earn for the computerized physician order-entry measure if the data are derived from the AHA, which it considers a secondary source that offers less detail than if the information is from the Leapfrog hospital survey.
Leapfrog has also proposed adding a bar-code medication administration measure. Most hospitals have a process in place where a clinician scans the bar code on a medication and the patient's identification badge to ensure the patient is getting the correct medicine. While this should be done at a patient's bedside, that doesn't always happen, Binder said. The Leapfrog survey would ask hospitals if they have a process to ensure bar code medication administration is done in front of the patient.
Binder said medication administration errors are the most frequent patient safety mistakes in hospitals, but they are difficult to track and monitor.
The proposed changes—if approved—would be implemented in the next Hospital Safety Grade report in fall 2018.
An edited version of this story can also be found in Modern Healthcare's April 30 print edition.