The group gave national hospitals a rating in its Hospital Safety Score. In a recent news release, Dr. Ashish Jha of Harvard University, said, "The score exclusively measures safety — meaning errors, accidents and infections. There is an overwhelming amount of information out there that could be useful when we are admitted to the hospital, but very few of us know what it is or where to find it."
Erlanger at Hutcheson received a letter grade of "C."
Roger Forgey, Hutcheson CEO, disputed the score, saying, "Hutcheson has consistently scored well on evaluations by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Erlanger at Hutcheson was never reviewed by Leapfrog and does not participate or monetarily support their organization."
According to hospital officials, Leapfrog compared 2,600 hospitals. If a hospital did not participate, the only data they have is from that which is publicly reported to the CMS hospital compare website.
Forgey said, "Without paying and participating with Leapfrog, the weights for the data change significantly to reach the final score. 1,111 of the hospitals listed scored a "C."
"The most recent information used is from April 2010 to March 2011, but some of the information dates back to October 2008," Forgey continued. Leapfrog reaches a score by measuring 26 areas partnered from a Leapfrog hospital survey and governmental agencies. Hospitals across the country, like Hutcheson, believe that much of the data is out of date and incomplete.
When asked what other organizations rate Erlanger at Hutcheson services and how they are more reliable, Forgey answered, "We submit and comply with CMS on their mechanisms to publicly report hospital safety data, and (we) have scored very well. (CMS) is the government entity which all hospitals are required to submit their hospital data and we believe the CMS methodology of gathering and reporting data is the most accurate and up to date."
As for the "C" rating given Hutcheson, Forgey said, "As with many larger health care institutions, we also feel that this data and rating system does not directly reflect appropriate patient safety information. We encourage the public to review official hospital data with the Department of Health and Human Services Hospital Compare site. Our staff and physicians work diligently to maintain an environment centered around patient safety and quality standards."