Cooley Dickinson Named a 2012 Leapfrog Top Hospital

NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson is one of 92 hospitals nationwide and eight in Massachusetts named to the Leapfrog Group’s annual list of Top Hospitals, which was announced Dec. 4 at Leapfrog’s annual meeting.

“It is because our doctors, nurses, allied-health professionals, and staff take the steps necessary to ensure that our patients receive safe, high-quality care that Cooley Dickinson achieved this recognition,” Craig Melin, president and CEO. “Being named a Top Hospital is validation from an independent authority that our staff is continuously focused on delivering a high quality of care.

“Ultimately, our patients benefit most from our efforts, because they are less likely to experience quality or safety events at Cooley Dickinson,” he added.

Leah Binder, president and CEO of the Leapfrog Group, said the Top Hospital distinction “is by far the most competitive award a hospital can receive. Leapfrog holds hospitals to the highest standards on behalf of our purchaser members and their employees. By achieving the Top Hospital accolade, Cooley Dickinson has demonstrated exemplary performance across all areas of quality and patient safety that are analyzed on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey.”

She added, “this hospital stands out as one consistently providing safe, high-quality care, and I would be comfortable sending my family to Cooley Dickinson for care.”

Besides announcing this year’s Top Hospitals, the Leapfrog Group focused on transparency as the key to improved hospital safety at its annual meeting.

Cooley Dickinson was selected as a Top Hospital out of nearly 1,200 hospitals participating in the Leapfrog Group’s annual survey. Hospitals reaching this achievement include academic medical centers, teaching hospitals, children’s hospitals, and community hospitals in rural, suburban, and urban settings.

As a 2012 Top Hospital, Cooley Dickinson met the following standards for safe, high quality care:

• A hospital must fully meet Leapfrog’s standard for preventing medication errors. Research estimates that more than 1 million serious medication errors occur each year in U.S. hospitals. Leapfrog’s standard for computerized physician order entry (CPOE) measures the extent to which a hospital has adopted CPOE, and whether decision support tools in the CPOE system are working effectively.

• A hospital must fully meet Leapfrog’s standard for ICU physician staffing. Mortality rates are significantly lower in hospitals with ICUs managed exclusively by board-certified intensivists (physicians trained in critical-care medicine). Hospitals fulfilling Leapfrog’s standard for ICU physician staffing must operate adult and/or pediatric ICUs that are managed or co-managed by intensivists.

• A hospital must fully meet Leapfrog’s standards for high-risk surgeries and procedures. (Hospitals must achieve a score of “fully meets” for 50{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of the surgeries or procedures that apply.) Research indicates that a patient’s risk of dying is reduced by approximately two to four times, depending on the high-risk procedure, if care is obtained in hospitals that meet Leapfrog’s standards.

• A hospital must achieve a value score of 69 or better as calculated through Leapfrog’s Hospital Recognition Program. This program uses each standard from the Leapfrog Hospital Survey to calculate an overall value score for each hospital. The value score, which is a numerical value from 0 to 100, is a combination of quality and resource use, with quality weighted more heavily in the calculation. Hospitals with high-value scores have demonstrated both high quality and appropriate resource use.

• Hospitals eligible for a Hospital Safety Score must receive an A on the letter grades publicly reported at the time of the Top Hospital public announcement. The Hospital Safety Score grades hospitals on how safe they are for patients. Each A, B, C, D, or F score comes from expert analysis of publicly available data consumers can now use to protect their families from harm or death during a hospital stay.

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