Aetna to cite Leapfrog safety scores

June 5, 2013 in Medical Technology

Aetna will include The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Scores in its DocFind online hospital directory to help patients make better decisions about their care.

In June 2012, Leapfrog introduced its Hospital Safety Score, which uses 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single letter grade (A-F). The grade – calculated under the guidance of Leapfrog’s panel of eight patient safety experts – represents a hospital’s overall success in keeping patients safe from infections, injuries and medical and medication errors.

“The Hospital Safety Score is designed to help people stay safe when admitted to the hospital, and foster clinical and quality improvement,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog, in a press statement. “That starts with transparent, consistent measures that help hospitals make targeted improvements. Aetna is the first health plan to make the scores available within their hospital directory. We applaud their constant focus on quality improvement and member engagement.”

Aetna members and DocFind visitors will be able to check specific hospital safety scores later this summer by clicking a link on the hospital’s page on the site, say Aetna officials. They will see the letter grade for their hospital of choice, as well as the grades of other hospitals in the same geographic area.

“Consumers need and demand more information about health care quality, safety and pricing,” said Elizabeth Curran, head of Aetna’s Network Strategy and Program Development, in a statement. “Combined with other quality information already available from Aetna and The Leapfrog Group, the Hospital Safety Scores give our members and consumers an additional reference to help them make informed health care decisions for themselves and their families.”

Aetna has collaborated with The Leapfrog Group since 2005. It was the first health plan to endorse the its approach to “never events” – events that so threaten patient safety that they should never happen – including public recognition of hospitals that voluntarily develop procedures around reporting these events.

“We believe each health care professional and facility intends to provide the best possible care. Still, hundreds of preventable errors occur each year,” said Curran. “We are glad to work with the Leapfrog Group and health care providers to measure and improve care quality and safety.”

[See also: Leapfrog grades hospitals A to F on patient safety]


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