While the number of hospitals committed to outcomes transparency has reached an all-time high, a new report from the Leapfrog Group indicates organizations continue to struggle with providing patients with consistent safe, high-quality care.
Slightly more than 1,500 hospitals nationwide responded to the nonprofit's 2014 hospital survey, the highest level of participation to date, breaking last year's record.
The survey, conducted in partnership with Castlight Health, revealed positive signs for improvement, as well as numerous problems, including:
- Low compliance for policies on "never events": The rate of hospitals meeting Leapfrog's standard for never events--which includes offering an apology and waiving all costs after an adverse incident--held steady at 79 percent, the same as the last two years, according to the report.
- Urban hospitals lead in outcomes: About 20 percent more urban providers met Leapfrog's safe practices standards than rural ones, and urban facilities also improved their compliance from year to year.
- Rates remain high for some hospital-acquired conditions: Of the reporting hospitals, 1 in 6 have higher than expected rates for central-line infections, while 10 percent scored poorly on catheter-associated urinary tract infection rates, according to the report.
- Compliance is up for Leapfrog's Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Physician Staffing standard: ICUs that meet this standard can cut mortality by up to 40 percent, according to Leapfrog. ICUs have adopted numerous strategies to identify risks to patient safety, including big data models, FierceHealthcare previously reported.
"Patients are coming to expect insight into the value of care provided at hospitals just as they do for all other important decisions," Jennifer Schneider, M.D., chief medical officer for Castlight Health, said in a statement. "Patients who search for hospital cost and quality information will be rewarded with higher-value care, and hospitals with the courage to report transparently will be rewarded with their business."
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