Leapfrog announces 12 new regions

Consumers, employers, and others interested in quality health care in a dozen new regions now can check out how their favorite hospitals compare by going to the Leapfrog Group’s web site (www.leapfroggroup.org). The 12 regions are: Colorado; Central Florida; Dallas-Fort Worth; Kansas City, MO.; Massachusetts; Memphis, TN; Metro New York City; New Jersey; Rochester, NY; Savannah, GA; Wichita, KS; and south central Wisconsin. They join the regions rolled out last year — Atlanta, California, Michigan, Minnesota, East Tennessee, Seattle, and St. Louis.

Leapfrog looks at whether hospitals have adopted use of computerized physician order-entry systems, how well they perform selected high-risk conditions, and whether their intensive care units are staffed with specialists trained in critical care.

According to the group, the initiative has the potential to reach about 40% of the consumers in the country. Hospitals voluntarily fill out an on-line survey on their adoption of the three criteria, or their plans to do so. The results are reported in a survey that anyone can access and are updated every month.

"These regions are helping set the pace for the nation," explains Suzanne Delbanco, PhD, executive director of The Leapfrog Group. "By prompting patients to consider three proven safety practices when choosing a hospital, and encouraging local health care providers to adopt them, purchasers can help protect thousands of Americans from disability and death."

Delbanco says that each month’s results include data from more hospitals that are choosing to fill out the survey, and new regions will be added in the near future.