LeapFrog vs Consumer Reports

What hospital is the best in your area? Which hospital is the safest? Many times the public uses word-of-mouth from their friends and families to choose. A lot of times our own insurance policies determine which hospital we choose. Consumer Reports just rolled out their own version of safety rankings comparable to another version LeapFrog Group that was released last year.

In June, Leapfrog Group, a Washington D.C.-based hospital safety advocacy group, created its own safety rankings, but unlike Consumer Reports’ numerical scores, Leapfrog used A, B and C letter grades, similar to New York City’s restaurant grading system that only has three grades.

The director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, John Santa M.D., explained the report as a type of advocacy. “We’re doing this in part because 12 years ago the Institute of Medicine made the same suggestions that we’re making. This kind of information needs to be publicly reported, these problems need to be solved, but the hospitals still haven’t done it,” he said. There are differences in reporting between the two groups. “We each looked at some different measures,” said Leah Binder, CEO of the Leapfrog Group. “Particularly, they [Consumer Reports] looked at patient satisfaction measures and rates of CT scans. We didn’t look at those things. We looked at injuries, errors and accidents only. It’s kind of like having two different book reviews. Different reviewers have different interests.”

This is a good thing in that it helps educate the public about hospital safety. This is a bad thing is that the guidelines for determining safety is different from study to study. Where does your hospital rank?

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