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Leapfrog Patient-Safety Standards are a Stretch for Most Hospitals

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Publication Date: February 2004

Publisher(s): Center for Studying Health System Change

Author(s): Kelly Devers; Gigi Y. Liu

Series: Issue Brief No. 77

Topic: Health (Health services administration)

Type: Brief


The Leapfrog Group, a national coalition of large health care purchasers, has championed three hospital patient-safety initiatives—computerized physician order entry systems, staffing of intensive care units (ICUs) with specially trained physicians and evidence-based hospital referrals for certain high-risk procedures. While Leapfrog's campaign has raised hospital awareness of these patient-safety practices and spurred some implementation efforts, few hospitals are close to meeting Leapfrog standards, according to findings from the Center for Studying Health System Change's (HSC) 2002-03 site visits to 12 nationally representative communities. Moreover, Leapfrog's focus on selected communities—known as regional rollouts—has not yet prompted significantly greater implementation of the three hospital patient-safety practices in targeted communities.Many factors, including a lack of incentives for hospitals, are hindering hospital buy in and fulfillment of the Leapfrog standards.