Cincinnati Children’s Named One of Nation’s Top Hospitals for Quality and Safety

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is one of seven pediatric institutions and 33 hospitals of any kind in the nation named one of the 2008 Top Hospitals, based on results of the Leapfrog Hospital Survey.

The Leapfrog Group, an organization launched in 2000 to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality and affordability of healthcare for Americans, considers the survey to be the nation's premier hospital patient safety evaluation tool. The Leapfrog Group survey gives consumers and health care purchasers up-to-date assessments of 1,220 participating hospitals' quality and safety.

The voluntary survey provides a complete picture of hospital quality and safety available in the U.S. and asks hospitals about their performance in four crucial areas, or "leaps":

  1. Do physicians enter prescriptions and other orders into computers linked to medication error prevention software? And are those systems tested to assure that users are warned about serious prescribing errors?
  2. How well do hospitals perform seven complex high-risk procedures and care for high risk deliveries?
  3. Are hospital intensive care units staffed by qualified specialists?
  4. Do hospitals have safety practices and policies advocated by the National Quality Forum to reduce harm and errors?

The top hospitals fully met Leapfrog standards for implementing computer physician order entry (CPOE) systems that help prevent medication errors and tested their systems with Leapfrog's CPOE Evaluation Tool; fully met stringent performance standards for at least one of the complex, high-risk procedures done in that particular hospital; fully met the ICU staffing standard; and fully met or demonstrated "substantial progress" on 13 additional nationally recognized safe practices, such as preventing pneumonia or bloodstream infections.

In addition to the four "leaps," the Leapfrog Hospital Survey asked hospitals to report progress on other important patient safety areas, including participating in other public reporting initiatives, adhering to the Leapfrog "Never Events" policy, measuring how efficiently resources are used for certain conditions, and helping patients avoid pressure ulcers and other hospital-related injuries.

A study published in the June issue of the “Journal on Quality and Patient Safety” found that hospitals that perform well on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey have lower mortality and better quality of care than those who either didn't perform as well on the survey or who chose not to complete the survey.

The Leapfrog Group uses its members' collective leverage to initiate improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for Americans. The Leapfrog Group was founded in November 2000 by the Business Roundtable and is supported by its members, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Commonwealth Fund, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and other sources.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is one of America’s top three children’s hospitals for general pediatrics and is highly ranked for its expertise in digestive diseases, respiratory diseases, cancer, neonatal care, heart care and neurosurgery, according to the annual ranking of best children's hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. One of the three largest children’s hospitals in the U.S., Cincinnati Children’s is affiliated with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health.

For its achievements in transforming healthcare, Cincinnati Children's is one of six U.S. hospitals since 2002 to be awarded the American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize® for leadership and innovation in quality, safety and commitment to patient care. The hospital is a national and international referral center for complex cases, so that children with the most difficult-to-treat diseases and conditions receive the most advanced care leading to better outcomes.

Contact Information

Jim Feuer, 513-636-4656, jim.feuer@cchmc.org