October 3, 2008

Children’s Hospital leaps on to quality list

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Children’s Hospital leaps on to quality list

The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt has been named one of seven pediatric “Top Hospitals” in the nation for providing excellent patient safety in an annual survey by the Leapfrog Group.

Leapfrog provides consumers with scores and assessments for more than 1,200 adult and pediatric hospitals.

“This recognition proves how hard our physicians, nurses and all our staff are working to provide the best possible care for children,” said Kevin Churchwell, M.D., chief executive officer for Children's Hospital.

“Through this, we hope that our patients and families know that safety and quality care is of utmost importance to us and that the children we serve are as precious to us as our own.”

The Top Hospital survey examines four major areas:

• Medication errors and implementation and testing of computerized order entry systems

• Whether hospitals met stringent performance standards in high-risk procedures

• Whether hospitals met stringent staffing standards in intensive care units

• Whether hospitals met or were progressing toward 13 nationally recognized safe practices to reduce infections, harm and errors.

Additionally, listed hospitals must document that they are active in public reporting of their quality of care; efficiently using resources in common, life-threatening illnesses and procedures like heart surgery and pneumonia; and carefully measuring and proving prevention of hospital-related infections and injuries.

“This is a huge recognition for everyone who works in our hospital and clinics. It speaks to the fact that we are reliable,” said Barbara Joers, chief operating officer for Children's Hospital.

“The No. 1 thing parents look for in a hospital is whether we're a safe place for their children.”

The recognition is earned on two fronts, Joers said: continued emphasis on practices that have been proven to improve patient safety, and adopting new procedures quickly.

A study published in June's Journal on Quality and Patient Safety found that hospitals that perform well on the Leapfrog Top Hospital Survey have lower mortality rates and better quality care than those who didn't perform as well or did not participate in the survey.

This year's Top Hospital list includes 26 hospitals and seven children's hospitals. Vanderbilt’s Children's Hospital was the only pediatric facility from the Southeast to be included.

Other pediatric hospitals that made the list include Children National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Children's Hospital in Boston, Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.