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Baystate gets top marks for safety, efficiency

SPRINGFIELD — Baystate Medical Center is one of the top 65 hospitals in the United States for quality, safety and efficiency, according to the Leapfrog Group’s 2011 survey of over 1,200 hospitals.
Leapfrog’s “Top Hospital” designation, which is the most competitive national hospital quality award in the country, recognizes hospitals that deliver the highest quality care by preventing medical errors, reducing mortality for high-risk procedures like heart bypass surgery, and reducing hospital readmissions for patients being treated for conditions such as pneumonia and heart attack.
This is the third year in a row in which Baystate Medical Center has been designated a Leapfrog Top Hospital. The Springfield teaching hospital, which is the western campus of Tufts University School of Medicine, is one of four hospitals in Massachusetts — and the only hospital outside of Boston — to make the list, and one of just six winners in New England. Of the New England states, only Massachusetts and Maine hospitals made the distinguished list.    
“For three consecutive years, Baystate Medical Center has demonstrated its national leadership on healthcare quality and efficiency with superior performance in this prestigious survey,” Dr. Evan Benjamin, senior vice president, Healthcare Quality, Baystate Health, said. “Our patients place the highest level of trust and confidence in the care they receive at Baystate; it’s very gratifying to see this concrete proof that their faith in us is being rewarded with truly effective, safe and efficient care.”
While numerous agencies and organizations collect and publicize hospital quality data, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, now in its eleventh year, is the toughest standard-bearer and provides the most complete picture of a hospital’s quality and safety. The survey focuses on three critical areas of hospital care: (1) how patients fare, (2) resources used to care for patients, and (3) management practices that promote safety and quality. In each of the three areas, Leapfrog asks hospitals to report on nationally standardized measures so healthcare consumers can compare hospitals in their community and across the country.
“Nearly a fourth of America’s hospitals have committed themselves to Leapfrog’s exceptionally high level of transparency and accountability — a sign that the hospital industry is increasingly transparent and committed to earning the public trust,” Leapfrog’s CEO Leah Binder said.
“One of the primary reasons we engage in this challenging survey is to enable patients to make informed choices about the clinicians and organizations who will care for them,” Benjamin added. “Now more than ever, patients need to play an active role in getting maximum value as healthcare consumers by choosing physicians, nurses and facilities that give them the greatest chance to sustain or regain their health as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
In addition to the Leapfrog honor, Baystate Medical Center is also designated a Magnet hospital for nursing excellence, and is a six-time winner of the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence. In March of 2012, Baystate will open its Hospital of the Future, a new facility that includes the Davis Family Heart and Vascular Center — with ultramodern procedure rooms and cardiovascular intensive care facilities — and additional single-patient rooms designed for optimum healing and comfort.
The Leapfrog Group is a coalition of public and private purchasers of employee health coverage founded more than a decade ago to work for improvements in healthcare safety, quality, and affordability. Initially organized by the Business Roundtable, it is now an independent organization working with a broad range of partners, including hospitals and insurers. The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is the only voluntary effort of its kind.
For more information, visit www.leapfroggroup.org.
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