December 4, 2009

VU hospitals lauded for quality, safety

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VU hospitals lauded for quality, safety

Vanderbilt University Hospital and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt have both been named among the nation's 45 Leapfrog Top Hospitals for 2009.

The Leapfrog Group is a consortium of large companies and public employers that together provide health benefits to more than 37 million consumers spread among all 50 states. The consortium's mission is “to trigger giant leaps forward in the safety, quality and affordability of health care.”

Their top hospitals list is based on an annual hospital safety and quality survey, which this year took in 1,206 hospitals. VUH and Children's Hospital were the only Tennessee hospitals on this year's list.

“This important recognition from Leapfrog goes to our hospital staff and clinicians for their skill, diligence and dedication,” said C. Wright Pinson, M.D., MBA, deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs.

“As we all seek to further Vanderbilt's commitment to patient care safety and quality, it can only spur our efforts to know that outside groups are taking such a close interest and have found our hospital care to be exemplary.”

Leapfrog's list comprises three categories of hospitals — urban generalist/adult (VUH is in this category), pediatric and rural. Different sets of criteria apply for each category. The 34 urban generalist/adult hospitals on the 2009 list:

• meet physician electronic order entry criteria, including linked medication error prevention software that has tested effective for preventing major errors;
• meet performance standards for at least four out of seven selected high-risk procedures;
• meet intensive care unit physician staffing standards;
• perform in the top 10 percent for efficiency.

“I'm very pleased that VUH is a 2009 Leapfrog Top Hospital. This is a well-earned salute to our staff and clinicians for their continued hard work and dedication,” said Larry Goldberg, CEO of VUH.

This year's survey took in 41 pediatric hospitals. The eight that made the list earned quality scores of 95 or above. Scoring was based on physician order entry and ICU physician staffing criteria, and on performance in regard to certain common acute conditions, high-risk procedures, hospital acquired conditions and safety practices advocated by the National Quality Forum.

“This recognition from Leapfrog goes to the core of our endeavors, as nothing is more vital than the safety and quality of our care here at Children's Hospital. Congratulations to all,” said Kevin B. Churchwell, M.D., chief executive officer and executive director of Children's Hospital.