A new type of hospital performance report card was distributed in June 2012 by the Leapfrog Group, an organization that surveys and reports on healthcare safety. This latest report card used Medicare information and data collected from a Leapfrog survey that aggregated 26 hospital safety indicators. The data was then turned into a letter grade for each hospital.
The Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Report has raised concerns by many groups, including the American Hospital Association and the New Jersey Hospital Association for its reporting methodology. These concerns range from reporting options that appear to benefit those hospitals that hold memberships in the Leapfrog Group organization and opted to participate in the survey to the age of the data utilized for this report (2006 to 2010).
"We certainly take patient safety and quality of care very seriously and continue to make great strides in these areas. St. Joseph's staff is working hard at both campuses to improve our processes to advance patient safety and quality outcomes for the communities we serve," said Maria Brennan, CNO, SJHS.
Of the 73 hospitals rated in New Jersey, 23 received an A, 33 earned B, and 17 were rated C or below. St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center (including St. Joseph's Wayne Hospital) received a C grade.
"We immediately questioned how accurately the older Leapfrog data represents the level of care currently provided at St. Joseph's," she added. "We felt compelled to conduct our own internal audit using Year 2011 data to ascertain our current level of care grade point."
In creating our report, the St. Joseph's Quality Team applied the Leapfrog Calculator to the more current 2011 data, using the same formulas for means, standard deviations, Z-Scores and individual weighing factors. The resulting composite process/structure and output scores then were classified as a final letter grade.
"It was not surprising that, when applying the same Leapfrog reporting criteria to current St. Joseph's data, the result is a grade of A, not a C," said Maria. "Our staff is to be congratulated on steadily raising the standard of care here – our 2011 internal audit proves we are excelling in patient safety and quality of care."
St. Joseph's Healthcare System continues to receive applause from national level organizations applauding the quality of the care we provide to our patients and community. These include U.S. News & World Report (Best Regional Hospitals, New York Metro Region, with specialty recognition for Cancer, Orthopedics, and Nephrology, 2011-12), Healthgrades (5-Star Rating and Excellence Awards, 2012, Gynecologic Surgery and Maternity Care), The American Heart Association (Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Awards, HF and Stroke, 2011-12), and Becker's Hospital Review/Becker's ASC (100 Great Places to Work in Healthcare, 2012).