From the GIC Fall 2001 Newsletter
The Maine State Employee Health Commission and the Massachusetts Department of Medical Assistance took up the torch to improve patient safety. They joined The Leapfrog Group, a coalition of large health care purchasers devoted to improving patient safety. The GIC already joined the Leapfrog Group last October. Leapfrog is a group of employers who offer generous benefits to their employees and share a common interest in improving health care quality.
The group coalesced in an effort to do something about the startling 1999 Institute of Medicine report which estimated that medical errors kill more Americans than motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS. In response, the Leapfrog Group developed measurable standards to improve hospital safety. Members of Leapfrog pledge to educate enrollees about patient safety and recognize hospitals that meet the standards.
The GIC was the first Massachusetts organization to join Leapfrog. We incorporated the Leapfrog standards into our new health plan contracts. Beginning July 1, 2001, all GIC health plans began to gather hospital data on these standards. Once the GIC has received and reviewed these data, we will share them with enrollees to assist you with your hospital care decision making. In the meantime, talk with your doctor about hospital patient safety.
The following Leapfrog standards reduce hospital errors and improve patient safety:
- Inpatient computerized physician order entry of prescriptions
- Intensive care unit (ICU) staffing by physicians certified in critical care
- Hospital volume for five high-risk procedures and two high-risk deliveries
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.