Thursday, April 29, 2010

More Evidence That Hospitals Must Continue To Focus On Improving Value

The latest report from the Leapfrog Group which is a nonprofit organization that rates hospitals value and represents major purchasers of healthcare benefits (mostly large businesses), shows good news and bad news. The good news is that overall improvement is shown in many of the categories compared to last year. but we still have a long way to go. More discouraging is the fact that a wide disparity still exists between the high performing and low performing hospitals. Clearly the low performers need to take notice and devote significant time and effort to improve performance now, otherwise they will not be around for long.

Leapfrog has been around for 10 years and admitted in their latest statement that the improvements in hospital performance over this period has been well under what they expected, especially considering that we are the most expensive healthcare system in the world.

Some of the improvements noted are:

1) Pneumonia Treatment- 57% met the standard up from 34% last year

2) Heart Bypass Surgery- 53.5% met the standard up from 43% last year

3) Angioplasty- 44% met the standard up from 35% last year

4) Heart Attack- 33% met the standard up from 26% last year

Overall, even the newest numbers are less than impressive particularly when looking at the low performers. For heart bypass surgery, a 56% difference existed between the best and worst providers. For angioplasty there was a 79% difference. There is clearly a lot of waste in the low performers. One factor is the lack of compliance with nationally endorsed, evidence based guidelines which Leapfrog strongly endorses. Leapfrog asserts that more than 3,000 deaths could be avoided each year if these standards were implemented in all hospitals.

While Leapfrog is still a voluntary survey and only 1,244 hospitals across the country are participating, performance at their standards is a must for all hospitals. If not Leapfrog, then some other survey will be used in the near future to provide the public with performance measures of every hospital.

For those hospitals at the lower end, get busy now cleaning up your act. We at Compirion would be happy to assist you.

More on this later.

Mark Brodeur

1 comment:

  1. Hostpitals should have a Quality of performance standards every month. Becuase one month they can be great at Pneumonia Treatment and the next thing you know they lack of professionals. Improving focus on this matter is what the authorities need.


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