The Leapfrog Group

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The Leapfrog Group (“Leapfrog”) is a hospital reporting organization created to provide purchasers with transparent health care quality information. Prior to Leapfrog’s creation, employers who purchase health care found it difficult to provide high-quality care to their employees because they could not identify which providers were best. A group of employers developed Leapfrog in response to this lack of transparency and accountability. Sixty purchaser members were included in the launch of Leapfrog in 2001, with funding from Business Roundtable, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Commonwealth Fund.1
The mission of Leapfrog is to “trigger giant leaps forward in the safety, quality and affordability of U.S. health care by using transparency
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In recognition of the significant deficiencies, waste, and fatal nature of American health care, Leapfrog adheres to the fundamental idea of improvement: change must occur.6 Leapfrog’s goal is to achieve improvement that changes how health care delivery occurs, yields positive results in contrast to previous trends, and maintains a long-term impact. Leapfrog seeks to inspire improvement by fundamentally changing health care systems.
Leapfrog guides individual hospitals in answering three key improvement questions: What are we trying to accomplish?7 Since preventable medical errors harm patients, hospitals need to systematically improve care delivery to stop them from happening. How will we know that a change is an improvement?8 Hospitals can track their progress through Leapfrog’s grading system, updated yearly for continuity. What changes can we make that will result in improvement?9 Although Leapfrog does not give each hospital a specific to-do list for improvement, each grade is the result of a composite score. This score is calculated from publicly reported patient safety measures including hospital structures, processes, and outcomes. Hospitals can examine these measures in detail to identify their weakest areas of care delivery. This enables administrators to zero in on changes they can implement to improve
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As of today, they have been effective in increasing transparency of quality metrics and care improvement. They are the first and only national health care rating agency focused on errors, accidents and infections. Their surveys, data and analytics have contributed to a 84% reduced early elective delivery rates, a 21% decline in hospital acquired conditions, and increased adoption and improved functionality of computerized physician order entry systems, which led to reduced medical error rates.16 However, Leapfrog is still in the infancy stages of its standards becoming principal benchmarks for measuring hospital performance. Many hospitals struggle to meet Leapfrog’s grade “A” standards. Of the 2639 hospitals Leapfrog rated, only 823 hospitals scored an “A.” Furthermore, the incentives for hospitals to achieve “A” scores are still
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