“We don’t shy away from providing consumers with access to our quality and safety statistics, but it is critical that the data be accurate.” Teri Fontenot, Woman’s Hospital chief executive officer
The Leapfrog Group has removed Woman’s Hospital from a safety scores website because the list wasn’t supposed to include specialty hospitals.
Leapfrog, which had given Woman’s a C, also issued an apology after Chief Executive Officer Teri Fontenot questioned the hospital’s inclusion in the Hospital Safety Scores site.
“I am very sorry for our error. You are correct, as a specialty hospital, Woman’s Hospital should not have been assigned a grade,” Leapfrog Program Manager Erica Newman said in a Thursday morning email to Fontenot.
Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score grades were based on preventable hospital conditions, such as infections, medication errors, bedsores and falls.
Woman’s spokesman Amiee Goforth said the hospital is concerned the story confused the public and wants to clear up the misinformation.
Among other things, the Hospital Safety Score list excluded specialty hospitals like Woman’s because they don’t provide all the services that a full-service hospital does, Goforth said. This means specialty hospitals can’t be accurately compared to full-service hospitals.
Leapfrog also used Medicare claims data in calculating hospital grades.
Woman’s treats women and infants, and less than 5 percent of the hospital’s patients are covered by Medicare, Goforth said. Even if Woman’s had been correctly included, the sample size is too small, and the Medicare data Leapfrog used covered 2008 to 2011, which meant some of the information was nearly four years old.
Fontenot sent out a companywide email Friday explaining the situation to employees.
“Woman’s is keenly focused on patient safety. We fully support public awareness of our performance by voluntarily displaying quality data in posters throughout the hospital, posting the most recent publicly reported measures collected by the federal government via a direct link on womans.org to the Hospital Compare website,” she said in the email. “We don’t shy away from providing consumers with access to our quality and safety statistics, but it is critical that the data be accurate.”
Leapfrog has been harshly criticized by a number of hospitals and hospital trade groups, including the American Hospital Association, which said Leapfrog had not contacted all of the hospitals on the list.
Woman’s Hospital was one of those.
“The American Hospital Association has supported several good quality measures but many of the measures Leapfrog uses to grade hospitals are flawed, and they do not accurately portray a picture of the safety efforts made by hospitals,” Nancy Foster, Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety Policy, said in a prepared statement.
Leapfrog officials could not be reached for comment Friday.