Leapfrog Group says it will conduct safety ratings for ambulatory surgery centers

Expanding from hospital assessments, the patient safety group will publish a national report by this time next year, with data on individual ASCs available by 2020.
By Mike Miliard
03:56 PM
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The Leapfrog Group is expanding its reporting of patient safety data from hospitals to outpatient settings. Specifically, the group will be looking at the quality of care at ambulatory surgery centers with a new voluntary survey.

WHY IT MATTERS

Leapfrog, founded by large employers and other healthcare purchasers, is one of the leading organizations tracking data on quality and safety.

Its Leapfrog Hospital Survey gathers information and reports on hospital performance, helping identify the highest-value care and offering potentially lifesaving information to consumers looking to make smart decisions about where they receive care.

Many top hospitals earn As on its report cards, but too many still get Fs.

In expanding its focus to ambulatory sites, Leapfrog says it will work on behalf of employers through Regional Leaders, its various community and business groups nationwide. Its expert panel – comprising experts leading health systems such as Penn Medicine, UCSF, University of Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins and others – will review and recommend content for the surveys.

At first, participation will be limited to 250 ambulatory surgery centers to allow for refinement of measure specifications, before eventually expanding the survey to the more than 5,000 centers across the U.S. Leapfrog said ASCss interested in volunteering as a pilot site should contact its help desk.

WHAT IS THE TREND

Ambulatory surgery centers don't typically have the IT infrastructure that hospitals have been able to use, but the patient safety implications of the procedures performed there are no less serious, as was shown by the 2014 death of comedian Joan Rivers at an outpatient center.

In addition to ASCs, Leapfrog said hospital outpatient surgery departments will also report similar data through a new section of the hospital survey. Both surveys will launch in April 2019. For each, the group will amass data on surgical facilities, medical and nursing staff, procedure volume and outcomes, patient safety practices and patient experience.

By fall 2019, a national report on the results will be published, according to Leapfrog, with ASCs and hospital outpatient departments getting benchmarking reports. For the 2020 surveys, Leapfrog will publicly report data on individual ASCs and hospital outpatient surgery departments.

ON THE RECORD

"The vast majority of surgeries in the U.S. are performed in outpatient or ambulatory settings, but there are almost no independent data about the safety and quality of this care," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, in a statement. "This leaves patients at risk without the information they need to select the best place for their care."

She added: "We're confident that, given the opportunity, hospitals and ASCs will be transparent in voluntarily reporting their performance, just like the nearly 2,000 hospitals that report on their inpatient quality today."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com