Rural Hospitals Rule on Leapfrog List

By Bernie Monegain, Editor for Healthcare IT News

For the second consecutive year, rural hospitals stood out, with 22 hospitals making the Leapfrog Group’s 2013 Top Hospitals list – a 69 percent increase from last year. Rounding out the list are 55 urban hospitals and 13 children’s hospitals. To qualify for the award, eligible hospitals must also earn an “A” from Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score, which grades hospitals based on expert analysis of infections, injuries and medical errors.

Leapfrog, a healthcare watchdog, announced its list of top hospitals Dec. 3 at its annual meeting, highlighting the diversity of hospitals represented nationwide.

The Top Hospitals designation recognizes hospitals that deliver the highest quality care by preventing medical errors, reducing mortality for high-risk procedures, such as heart bypass surgery, and reducing readmissions for patients being treated for conditions such as pneumonia and heart attack.

Many of the recognized quality measures and practices are underpinned by the use of health information technology.

“The field of hospitals considered for this year’s elite distinction was more competitive than ever, proving that more hospitals across the country are making quality their top priority,” Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog, said in a news release. “The larger group of rural hospitals represented, including several critical access hospitals, shows us that any hospital in America can achieve the highest standards of quality and safety, and any community, no matter how small, can benefit from top-notch healthcare.”

As it did for the other categories, Leapfrog set the bar higher for rural hospitals this year, Erica Mobley, Leapfrog’s senior communications director, told Healthcare IT News. “It’s really exciting to see these hospitals doing so well at providing high quality and safe care, regardless of all the obstacles they may be faced with,” Mobley said.

“We set the criteria even higher, and we still had so many hospitals getting the award – and a lot of hospitals that are receiving this award for the first time,” Mobley added.

The 2013 Top Hospitals list was closely culled from a record number of 1,324 hospitals voluntarily participating in the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. While several agencies and organizations collect and publicize hospital quality data, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey sets the highest bar for comparing hospitals’ performance on the national standards of safety, quality and efficiency that are most relevant to consumers and purchasers of care, Mobley said.

“The Leapfrog survey is a voluntary survey that hospitals can choose to complete, and just by the nature of completing the survey, they’re demonstrating their commitment and transparency because we publicly report all results good or bad on our website,” she noted.

The survey provides a picture of how patients fare, what resources are used to care for patients and how management promotes safety and quality.

Demonstrating the highest standards in quality of care and resource use, Top Hospitals have lower infection rates, higher survival rates for high-risk procedures, decreased length of stay and fewer readmissions. This year’s list includes more than 40 hospitals receiving the award for the first time. Other highlights: The state of Missouri makes its first appearance on the list with Mercy Hospital in St. Louis; Colorado received its second Top Hospitals designation with East Morgan County Hospital; and Maine has the most number of Top Rural Hospitals – nine.

2013 Leapfrog Top Hospitals
  • Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center (AZ)
  • Mayo Clinic Hospital (AZ)
  • Dignity Health Mercy Hospital of Folsom (CA)
  • Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente Fresno Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente Richmond Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Foundation Hospital Orange County-Irvine Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Downey Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente Ontario Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center (CA)
  • Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center (CA)
  • UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion (CA)
  • University of California Davis Medical Center (CA)
  • Florida Hospital Flagler (FL)
  • Larkin Community Hospital (FL)
  • Mayo Clinic in Florida (FL)
  • NorthShore Evanston Hospital (IL)
  • NorthShore Glenbrook Hospital (IL)
  • Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital (IL)
  • OSF St. Joseph Medical Center (IL)
  • Swedish Covenant Hospital (IL)
  • Harrington Hospital (MA)
  • Massachusetts Eye and Ear (MA)
  • Morton Hospital, A Steward Family Hospital (MA)
  • Saint Anne’s Hospital, A Steward Family Hospital (MA)
  • Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital Affiliate (MA)
  • DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital and University Health Center (MI)
  • Mercy Health Saint Mary’s (MI)
  • Regions Hospital (MN)
  • Mercy Hospital St. Louis (MO)
  • Annie Penn Hospital (NC)
  • Wesley Long Community (NC)
  • OhioHealth Doctors Hospital (OH)
  • Providence Portland Medical Center (OR)
  • Providence St. Vincent Medical Center (OR)
  • Geisinger Wyoming Valley (PA)
  • Hahnemann University Hospital (PA)
  • Westfield Hospital (PA)
  • Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals & Clinics (TX)
  • Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital (VA)
  • Sentara Norfolk General Hospital (VA)
  • Swedish Health Services – Issaquah (WA)
  • Virginia Mason Medical Center (WA)
2013 Leapfrog Top Rural Hospitals
  • East Morgan County Hospital (CO)
  • Florida Hospital Wauchula (FL)
  • Mariners Hospital (FL)
  • Grinnell Regional Medical Center (IA)
  • OSF Saint James – John W. Albrecht Medical Center (IL)
  • Wabash General Hospital (IL)
  • Fairview Hospital (MA)
  • Blue Hill Memorial Hospital (ME)
  • Calais Regional Hospital (ME)
  • Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital (ME)
  • Down East Community Hospital (ME)
  • Houlton Regional Hospital (ME)
  • Inland Hospital (ME)
  • LincolnHealth (Miles Campus) (ME)
  • Sebasticook Valley Health (ME)
  • Stephens Memorial Hospital (ME)
  • OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group (MI)
  • Spectrum Health Kelsey Hospital (MI)
  • Bolivar General Hospital (TN)
  • Camden General Hospital (TN)
  • Gibson General Hospital (TN)
  • Humboldt General Hospital (TN)
2013 Leapfrog Top Children’s Hospitals
  • Phoenix Children’s Hospital (AZ)
  • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CA)
  • Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CA)
  • Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford (CA)
  • Children’s Mercy Hospitals South Campus (KS)
  • Boston Children’s Hospital (MA)
  • DMC Children’s Hospital Of Michigan (MI)
  • Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota St. Paul (MN)
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital (OH)
  • University Hospitals – Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital (OH)
  • Children’s Hospital Of Pittsburgh of UPMC (PA)
  • East Tennessee Children’s Hospital (TN)
  • Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus (TX)

A complete list of 2013 Leapfrog Top Hospitals and the survey results for all participating hospitals are available here.

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