PHOENIX – A non-profit group called the Leapfrog Group recently rated patient safety at Arizona hospitals, evaluating everything from how well-staffed the intensive care unit (ICU) is to how well hospital staff keeps their hands clean.
The ratings are raising some eyebrows in the medical community.
“Leapfrog in this case used that self-reported, self-assessment to enhance the scores of hospitals,” said Peter Wertheim, spokesperson for the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association. “The hospitals that did not submit their assessment did not have a chance to enhance [their score].”
Wertheim said Leapfrog is putting too much confidence in the hospitals that responded to their requests for information, saying that dozens of groups request similar information and that it takes hundreds of hours to compile. He believes the C-grade that 47 Arizona hospitals received is not an accurate representation of how safe patients are in those hospitals.
“There is some value in having this information for the consumer, but ultimately the patient needs to investigate as well,” said Wertheim. “No one should rely on a report card to make the decision. You need to talk to the physicians and talk to the hospital.”
To take a look at the Leapfrog Group’s rating, click here.