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A Publication of WTVP

The Leapfrog Group is sponsored by the Business Roundtable and consists of CEOs of more than 80 Fortune 500 organizations who organized to use their considerable health care purchasing power leverage to drive breakthrough improvements in basic patient safety and customer value.

This initiative was introduced following the publication by the Institute of Medicine of "To Err is Human" in November 1999, followed by "Bridging the Quality Chasm" in March 2001. These landmark studies emphasized problems in today’s delivery of medical care and recommended many changes, which the authors felt would result in improvements.

Local members of the Leapfrog Group include Caterpillar Inc., IBM, Verizon Communications, AT&T and Cargill Inc.

The group noted five considerations they feel make the case for their action:

The guidelines are:

The Leapfrog Group recognized many of these standards could only be met in the urban hospital environment where volume allows the attainment of numbers to meet their standards. They submitted extensive survey documents to hospitals in selected states and cities in an effort to collect data on the current status and to allow ongoing analysis to direct their future efforts.

This is an important development in health care in that the purchasers of health care are looking more closely at the quality and value of the services for which they are contracting. If the initiative is conducted with the cooperation of hospitals and health care systems—and continues to be based on valid, statistically sound process and outcomes data—it will greatly benefit the patients. The initiative must meet the demands of evidence-based decisions for it to continue to be a positive force. An existing lack of sufficient physician manpower may temporarily limit staffing all ICU units with physicians trained in these disciplines.

For information about The Leapfrog Group, visit http://www.leapfroggroup.org. IBI

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