Far more than bragging rights or a pat on the back, the annual Leapfrog Survey evaluates patient care and safety to earn Carle’s first “A” rating.
“When choosing where to receive healthcare, we can all agree we want to choose a facility where infection rates are low and hospital–acquired conditions are rare, a place where hand hygiene and medication safety are a top priority, an environment where everyone does their part to make sure the care is of the highest quality and delivered in the safest possible manner,” said Tammy Kennedy, supervisor, Quality Services.
Leapfrog data helps to evaluate these areas of care to strive for continued excellence. By participating, leadership owns accountability and supports Carle’s culture of safety.
Two main initiatives affecting our A rating are the “Be Safe” and Physician Order Entry, based on the Leapfrog Survey requirements around holding staff and leadership accountable for patient safety. Be Safe ensures safe patient care processes are in place such as hand hygiene.
The computerized Physician Order Entry provides alerts and warnings to reduce potential drug interactions and safeguards patients receiving the right medication at the right time.
Patients drive their own health care decisions now more than ever. With increased accountability and transparencies via online tools, they have helpful and timely information at their fingertips.
“Patients are paying attention to this information and we need to as well,” said Robert Healy, MD, chief medical quality officer. “It’s vital to provide our patients, visitors and staff with a sense of safety and security that we all value in the delivery of care for ourselves, our families and our community.”
Kennedy said the power of ratings really hit her when an obstetrics patient said she was delivering her baby at another hospital due to our previous Leapfrog Survey data and score.
“Every time we complete quality assessments we identify pockets for improvement. These measurements help us focus our work and resources on the best outcomes for patients,” said Kennedy.
As the Leapfrog Survey also focuses on many areas tied to Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rating reimbursement programs, and reduces costly penalties.
“We’re committed to measuring quality data, working to improve and sharing our results with the community and in fact, we hold ourselves to a higher standard than required, reporting even the slightest concerns, which impacts scores,” Dr. Healy said.
While CMS measurements do offer some adjustment for patient acuity, they don’t fully address that as a regional referral center, Carle works with higher risk patients who require more advanced levels of care and Carle is responsible for providing this care to a high volume of patients in the region.