Over 2600 U.S. Hospitals Graded on Patient Safety

Monday, June 11th, 2012
This post was written by Cheryl Miller

It’s the end of the school year, but not just students are getting graded on their performance.

According to a new study from the non-profit Leapfrog Group, more than 2600 U.S. hospitals received grades on their patient safety performances, or how many errors, accidents, and infections patients acquired while in their care. Studies show that one in four Medicare patients leave a hospital with a potentially fatal issue they didn’t have prior to hospitalization, and more than 180,000 Americans die every year from hospital accidents, errors, and infections. This study, free to all, is intended as a public service. There were some anticipated results, including A’s for well-known hospitals including the Mayo Clinic, and some surprises, including A’s for hospitals not as well-known or well-located. Details inside.

Primary care physicians that provide enhanced services for their Medicare patients also get high marks this week. In its continued efforts to bolster the primary care workforce, CMS has launched a new initiative that compensates PCPs that provide extended quality care to their patients. The Comprehensive Primary Care program rewards physician groups that offer enhanced hours and accessibility, and use EHRs among other services. Approximately 75 primary care practices will be selected to participate in the initiative in each designated market. Interested PCPs have until July 20th to submit applications.

And Kaiser Permanente gets an A for providing us with a new medical term: video ethnography, or the anthropological use of videos to study specific human (patient) cultures. Designed as part of their quality improvement program, the process involves videotaping patients and caregivers as they are being interviewed, and observing how they interact with each other in a clinic, hospital or at home. The tool is proving particularly effective with vulnerable populations such as frail elders, patients nearing the end of life, and those with multiple chronic conditions, because it enables caregivers to “see nuances that otherwise might be missed, and discrepancies between what people say, what they do, and what they may think,” according to a lead researcher.

And finally, don’t forget to chart your own progress in the patient-centered medical home model in our survey. Two years post-healthcare reform, we’re taking our sixth annual look at adoption and support of the PCMH. Describe your organization’s progress and outcomes in this area by June 15th and we will reward you with a free e-summary of the results. And remember, there are no wrong answers!

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