October 20, 2006

VUMC ‘leaps’ on to care quality list

Featured Image

George Hill, Ph.D., left, Levi Watkins Jr., M.D., and David Satcher, M.D., at this week’s Levi Watkins Jr. Lecture on Diversity in Medical Education.
Photo by Neil Brake

VUMC ‘leaps’ on to care quality list

Vanderbilt University Medical Center hospitals are among only 59 health facilities in the country to be included on the first Leapfrog Top Hospitals list.

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.

Since 2002, the group has conducted the Leapfrog Hospital Quality and Safety Survey, which targets regions where Leapfrog's member companies have large concentrations of employees.

The Leapfrog Top Hospitals list — an unranked, alphabetical listing of 59 hospitals — is based on results of the 2006 survey, which included more than 1,200 of the nation's approximately 3,900 Medicare-approved acute care hospitals.

“This new list is welcome recognition for Vanderbilt's hospitals and the vital work we're doing to improve the safety and quality of health care for all patients,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs.

“Vanderbilt's continued high standing in Leapfrog's survey is testament to the dedication of hundreds of staff and faculty members, who make safety and quality their primary concern every single day. Congratulations to all,” said Martin Sandler, M.D., associate vice chancellor for Hospital Affairs.

“Our Medical Center is becoming a hub for new work in patient safety and clinical quality improvement, said C. Wright Pinson, M.D., M.B.A., associate vice chancellor for Clinical Affairs and chief medical officer.

“This new recognition from Leapfrog is shared by team members throughout our enterprise, to all of whom I am very grateful for their work.”

“Of course, we're very pleased and proud that VUH and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt have been recognized for their quality and patient safety efforts,” said Drew Gaffney, M.D., associate dean for Clinical Affairs and chief quality and patient safety officer.

“This is the first time Leapfrog has identified its top performers. Right now, we're ahead of most hospitals in the U.S., but if we're going to remain in this top group, we have to be sure that the Leapfrog patient safety measures are rolled out and used in all clinical areas. That's VUMC's challenge going forward.”

Leapfrog's survey delves into 30 safe practices, such as computerized physician order entry, physician staffing in intensive care areas, standardized prevention of wrong-site procedures, adequate hand washing and prevention of surgical infection.

Two other Tennessee hospitals were included in the Leapfrog list — Memorial Hospital, in Chattanooga, and Saint Thomas Hospital, in Nashville.