iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

This important message from the Leapfrog Group – Choose a Safer Hospital

We are thrilled to announce the latest update to the Hospital Safety Score. Since 2012, we have graded over 2,500 U.S. hospitals on how well they protect their patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. And this time around, we’re revealing more than just the latest grades – we’re unveiling a completely redesigned, consumer-friendly website.



At Leapfrog, we are focused on educating consumers about what patient safety means, while arming them with the tools necessary to choose a safe hospital.

The new website features whiteboard animation videos, tips on staying safe in the hospital, and easy-to-understand graphics. The new design truly transforms the user experience, making it easier than ever to understand critical information about your hospital’s safety record.

We invite you to take a tour of the new site, and search for your hospital’s latest Safety Score. Remember, you can make a difference when it comes to keeping you and your loved ones safe.

Choose a safer hospital today.

October 29, 2014 | Categories: healthcare,hospitals,quality,Safety | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)

The mortality rate related to opioid painkillers and benzodiazepine sedatives is rising

Inappropriate prescribing contributes to painkiller-related deaths The mortality rate related to opioid painkillers and benzodiazepine sedatives is rising, according to the CDC. Overdose mortality associated with drugs such as hydrocodone and oxycodone increased from 1.4 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 5.4 per 100,000 in 2011, though the rate of increase has slowed since 2006, and benzodiazepines were involved in 31% of narcotic painkiller deaths in 2011, up from 13% in 1999. Opioids are meant to treat acute pain for a short period of time, but most prescriptions are to treat chronic pain, according to one expert. HealthDay News (9/16)

September 22, 2014 | Categories: Chronic conditions,drugs,healthcare,Safety | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)

The health of a community is much more than health care

Everyone’s destiny is health care. We have poured billions into the clinical side of health care. We have made huge progress in what we can do to improve outcomes for people. The issue of disparate impact in health care is a vexing one. We are beginning to observe that Socio-Economic Status is a huge predictor of health and health care. We need to do more than simply pour money into health care. We need to pay attention to health and the contributors to health including education, jobs, nutrition, safety and many other factors. Here is a story that is beginning to identify these issues. We need to do more at the community level. We need to build consensus among the many stakeholders in the community — all of whom play vital role in the health of a community.

Report: Physicians should address patient social issues to improve outcomesPhysicians should address social issues, such as housing and access to healthy food, as part of efforts to improve quality outcomes and reduce costs, according to a Manatt Health Solutions report commissioned by The Commonwealth Fund. One option for funding social support services may come through patient-centered medical homes, the report said. Medscape (free registration) (6/13)

E-Cigarettes, safety concerns by the FDA

CDC: Liquid nicotine poisoning a growing problem
The number of calls received by U.S. poison control centers involving exposure to liquid nicotine from electronic cigarettes jumped from one per month in 2010 to 215 in February, CDC officials said Thursday. Of those calls, 51% involved children aged 5 and younger, while 42% affected people aged 20 and older. The FDA is “pushing very hard” to come up with a proposed rule governing e-cigarettes, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said. CNN (4/3), HealthDay News (4/3), Reuters (4/3)

April 7, 2014 | Categories: healthcare,Safety | Comments (0)

Hospital Acquired Infections Continue

The CDC released new data that finds, despite progress, hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) continue to claim tens of thousands of lives annually in the United States.  “Based on a large sample of U.S. acute care hospitals, the survey found that on any given day, about 1 in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection.  There were an estimated 722,000 HAIs in U.S acute care hospitals in 2011.  About 75,000 hospital patients with HAIs died during their hospitalizations.  More than half of all HAIs occurred outside of the intensive care unit.”

Consumer Reports ranks hospitals by safety ratings

Consumer Reports ranks hospitals by safety ratings
An analysis from Consumer Reports that ranked 2,591 hospitals by safety ratings found significant variations across the country that could affect patient risks. The report used data on hospital readmission rates, CT scans, hospital-acquired infections, mortality and communication, and found that mortality rates are linked to hospitals’ scores. Reuters (3/27), (3/27)

March 31, 2014 | Categories: healthcare,hospitals,quality,Safety | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)

Falls in the Elderly – Blood Pressure Meds

BP drugs tied to more
dangerous falls among older patients

An analysis of data on
nearly 5,000 hypertension patients older than 70 showed that those who took
blood pressure drugs had a 30% to 40% higher risk of suffering a serious injury
following a fall compared with those not taking the drugs. The risk was more
than twice as high for patients with a history of a similar injury. The
findings appear in JAMA Internal Medicine. HealthDay News (2/24)

Connecticut and New York Hospitals Rank Low on Patient Safety

Only 11% of hospitals in Connecticut and 17% in New York received an “A” grade for patient safety, according to scores released on October 23 by The Leapfrog Group. That puts Connecticut 42nd among states in terms of the percentage of hospitals receiving an “A;” New York ranks 37th. Two other states in the area — Massachusetts and New Jersey — performed much better, coming in 2nd with 76% of hospitals receiving an “A” and 9th, with 40%, respectively.

The updated Hospital Safety Scores are letter grades assigned to U.S. general hospitals by The Leapfrog Group, an independent nonprofit, based on infections, injuries and errors. These grades can be used by consumers to protect themselves against the more than 400,000 deaths estimated to occur in the U.S. every year due to hospital errors.
For more information on scores, visit

October 25, 2013 | Categories: healthcare,hospitals,Safety | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)

Widespread inappropriate use of antibiotics – still?

This is 2013, right? How long have we known about inappropriate antibiotic use? Why does it take so long to change practices and behaviors?

Study finds widespread inappropriate antibiotic use
Many doctors prescribe antibiotics for sore throats and bronchitis, which are usually caused by viruses, according to data derived from two national ambulatory care databases. Antibiotics are prescribed in 60% of sore throat cases and 73% of bronchitis cases, researchers report, and experts warned that the inappropriate utilization contributes to antibiotic resistance, high costs and needless side effects. The study on sore throats appeared in JAMA Internal Medicine, and the report on bronchitis was presented at the IDWeek meeting. HealthDay News (10/3), MedPage Today (free registration) (10/3)

Determining whether medical care is safe should be a national priority

Commentary: Better health care safety metric needed

Physicians Peter Pronovost and Robert Wachter argue in the American
Journal of Medical Quality that it’s unclear whether the U.S. health care
system has seen improvements in quality because experts lack a robust quality
metric. “Finding efficient and robust ways to determine whether medical
care is safer should be a national priority,” they wrote. (8/23)

August 27, 2013 | Categories: healthcare,quality,Safety | Tags: , , | Comments (0)
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