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Leapfrog Group names Baystate Medical Center a top U.S. hospital for quality and efficiency

SPRINGFIELD Baystate Medical Center is one of the top 45 hospitals in the United States for quality and efficiency, according to the Leapfrog Group's 2009 survey of 1,206 hospitals across the country.
Baystate is one of 34 urban hospitals to achieve this recognition, along with eight children's hospitals and three rural hospitals. Baystate is the only Massachusetts hospital outside the metro Boston area to be named, and is one of just eight hospitals in New England on the list.
"Quality and efficiency are clearly the two chief concerns for hospitals as we continue to work toward the best possible provision of care," said Dr. Evan Benjamin, vice president of Healthcare Quality for Baystate Health. "The Leapfrog recognition is an affirmation that our efforts at Baystate Medical Center are bringing results at the best-practice level.
"We're proud to be included in this nationally leading group, and we view this as an incentive to get even better at understanding and implementing the approaches that lead to healthier patients and healthier communities," he added.
"This year's class of Top Hospitals not only hits the mark in areas such as medication error prevention and preventing ICU deaths, but they also use their resources wisely, providing excellent and efficient outcomes for patients," said Leah Binder, CEO, The Leapfrog Group. "Regardless of what happens to health care reform, these hospitals are the future."
In 2009, Top Hospitals in urban settings fulfill the following criteria:
Fully meet stringent performance standards for complex, high-risk procedures (such as heart bypass surgery) done in that particular hospital;
Fully meet standards for staffing the ICU, shown to reduce mortality by 40 percent or more;
Fully meet Leapfrog standards for implementing computer physician order entry systems (that have been shown to reduce medication errors by up to 85 percent), and for passing Leapfrog's test of their system;
Score in the top decile in the country for efficiency scored by the Leapfrog Hospital Recognition Program incorporating quality outcomes, length of stay, readmission rates and incidence of hospital-acquired conditions and infections. The efficiency standard applies to heart bypass surgery, heart angioplasty, heart attack and pneumonia patients.
"We know from research that Leapfrog-reporting hospitals are among the best in the country, and they demonstrate through Leapfrog that they set ambitious goals for their performance," said Binder, pointing to a study by Dr. Ashish Jha at Harvard Medical School, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Joint Commission in 2008, concluding that Leapfrog hospitals have lower mortality and better quality of care than those that don't report to Leapfrog.
The Leapfrog recognition immediately follows another national honor for Baystate Medical Center, inclusion in the Thomson Reuters Top 100 Cardiovascular Hospitals rankings, and comes in a year in which Baystate was again included in the U.S. News Top Hospitals issue.
The Leapfrog Group is a voluntary program aimed at mobilizing employer purchasing power to alert America's health industry that big leaps in health care safety, quality and customer value will be recognized and rewarded. Among other initiatives, Leapfrog works with its employer members to encourage transparency and easy access to health care information as well as rewards for hospitals that have a proven record of high quality care.