Safety in numbers: the development of Leapfrog's composite patient safety score for US hospitals.
Despite availability of multiple publicly reported patient safety accountability measures, a composite score for hospital safety has yet to be developed. The Leapfrog Group convened a panel of experts to develop such a score for hospitals in the United States. The group synthesized 26 distinct safety indicators into a score comprised equally of process measures (e.g., barcode medication ordering), which recognize safety efforts, and outcome measures (e.g., catheter-associated infections). The panel also weighted the metrics based on the strength of evidence, the opportunity for improvement (i.e., the variation in performance), and the impact (i.e., the potential number of patients affected). After calculating the score for all US hospitals for which data were available, they found lower scores for rural, publicly owned hospitals with a higher percentage of patients with Medicaid as their insurance.