Published Jul 28, 2001
I came across minutes from a staff meeting at the hospital where I am currently on assigment in the staff FYI book about Leapfrog. It was explained as a...national initiative begun by large corporations to improve healthcare outcomes data. The 3 focus areas are.. 1. evidence-based medicine based on background, 2. Board Certified Intensivists in the ICU to direct patient care, and 3. computerized order entry for pharmaceuticals. Has anyone heard of this? Who are the "large corporations"? and what is a Board Certified Intensivist? I can agree with #3 to cut down on mistakes by MDs who never learned how to write or print in the second grade. Any info would be appreciated.
Members are made up of Fortune 500 CEO's. Part of Leapfrog's mission statement:
"The Leapfrog Group's goal is to mobilize employer purchasing power to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety and overall value of healthcare to American consumers. "
I had read somewhere a critical article re: this group that the main interest is to get the medical field to embrace computer technology. (translated...profits)
NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN
Leapfrog initiatives to drive great leaps in patient safety
Leapfrog purchasers are advancing the three initial methods to improve patient safety:
1. Computer physician order entry (CPOE); An Rx for Rx. Prescriptions in hospitals should be computerized.
2.Evidence-based hospital referral (EHR). Practice makes perfect. For certain elective procedures and treatments, patients should be guided to the hospitals and clinical teams that are more likely to produce better outcomes.
3.ICU physician staffing (ICU). Sick people need special care. Hospital ICU care should be managed by a physician certified (or eligible for certification) in critical care medicine.
These methods are well suited to purchasing standards because:
There is scientific evidence that these standards would significantly reduce avoidable danger.
Their implementation by the health industry is feasible in the near term.
Consumers can readily appreciate their value.
Health plans, purchasers and consumers can easily ascertain their presence or absence in selecting among health care providers.
Our initial selection of these three safety standards does not imply lack of support for the many other important methods of improving or assuring patient safety. We intend to expand this list as we identify other opportunities to improve safety with these four features.
Check out their web site especially fact sheet on these topics available here:http://www.leapfroggroup.org/safety2.htm
The Leapfrog Group has just launched a web-survey to gather information from hospitals nationwide about their practices on three hospital patient safety standards. http://www.leapfroggroup.org/hospital.htm
Kind of concerned that Fortune 500 companies are driving healthcare activites. Don't let them leave nursing out of the equation.
And if you go to their website and call the number in DC, ask a few questions you will find that they are not really ready to go "live". I did call a couple months ago, thought they could be a group that would be supportive of some things. The person I talked to told me their were only two staff members in the office, there were many things that needed to be worked out yet. Number one of these is regards to nursing issues was to have appropriate studies that would show positive patient outcomes from direct registered nurse care, or negative outcomes without the same. Another study this person talked about needing would be something that also showed why nurses are leaving the career field if indeed that is what is truly happening, and not just the aging workforce colliding with an aging patient population. These are just two examples of what this group feels it needs in order to be more proactive and vocal on behalf of nurses. She also told me that ANA had approached the group already and that they were told the same things I was told.
Also note that Leapfrog is an initiative for these companies to get more bang out of the insurance buck they have for their employees. Not saying that is wrong because they may be attacking a problem in a way that will benefit both the healthcare community and consumers. However also know that this is very much in it's infancy and just like any other large corporation they do not intend to move until they have the studies they need to prove their point. I am not sure if they intend on funding studies themselves or whether they are pushing others that should have already done these studies, or exactly how they intend on getting the information they are seeking.
I am surprised the whole thing made it into a staff meeting. The only way I had heard about leapfrog was through nurses on this bulletin board. Wonder what hospitals and HMO's think of the initiatives. In my mind they have some good ones, but once again like most everyone else they forgot the most important component in the healthcare system. US!
"The Leapfrog Group, as the coalition calls itself, even believes it already has spurred some health providers to "leap" into action...."
Part of the group's influence can be traced to its 80 members, who are not just "big" employers but corporate giants such as IBM, General Motors, AT&T and Delta Airlines. Together, then spend more than $40 billion a year on health care for their employees, a workforce of 26 million Americans. They intend to use that buying clout by steering patients to health care providers that meet the group's quality improvement demands....
Leapfrog has chosen seven geographic areas to "roll out" its project: Seattle, California, Minnesota, Michigan, St. Louis, Atlanta and Eastern Tennessee. Employers in those areas have urged hospitals to participate in a Leapfrog survey of their current status on the three standards. (See above posts).
Content of full article available at medscape( free registration required).
Thanks for your information. I will be keeping an eye on this and see how it unfolds.
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