Choosing the Right Hospital Can Make a Difference

From the GIC Winter 2005 Newsletter pdf format of fybwinter2005.pdf

Medical mistakes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. They cause more deaths than car accidents, breast cancer and AIDS. Even when mistakes made in hospitals are not fatal they still can have bad results. They can lead to injury, disability, longer hospital stays, or longer recovery.

The GIC is a member of the Leapfrog Group , a coalition of more than 150 organization devoted to improving patient safety. The Leapfrog Group works with medical experts all over the country to identify problems and offer solutions to improve hospital quality. Scientific evidence shows that the following four Leapfrog patient safety steps reduce death and injury. Consider choosing a hospital:

  • That requires doctors to use computerized systems for prescribing drugs
  • With proven results or lots of experience with specific procedures or diagnoses
  • With an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) that is staffed at least eight hours a day by specially trained doctors and other caregivers
  • That has a high "Leapfrog Quality Index". This means it has put in place up to 27 practices known to reduce preventable medical mistakes.

The GIC and our health plans continue to work with area hospitals to encourage reporting of their progress on these measures. For the latest Leapfrog patient safety information and additional details on these safety steps, see the Leapfrog Group's website . Keep in mind that most routine procedures are safely and conveniently performed at local hospitals. Talk with your doctor and health plan to obtain additional information about your hospital options.

This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission .