Although the number of publicly-reported patient safety measures has grown over the last decade, there is little evidence that patients and providers are using these data to inform their choice of hospital. One possible explanation for the lack of use is that safety data have typically been reported on a measure-by-measure basis, requiring patients and providers to synthesize too large a number of data points in their decision-making process. Composite measures, which combine multiple performance measures using a pre-determined weighting methodology to produce a single score, provide a more general picture of the safety performance of a hospital and may be more understandable and useable for non-medical personnel. The Leapfrog Group sought to address the need for a standardized method to evaluate patient safety by creating a composite score for hospitals in the U.S., including hospitals that do and do not voluntarily participate in the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. In 2011, The Leapfrog Group invited nine national experts to serve on a panel to help develop a composite score that would evaluate patient safety in U.S. hospitals. While those who were involved in developing the initial Leapfrog composite score believe it reflects the best patient safety measures and data currently available for a large number of U.S. hospitals, the panel recognizes that there are limitations to the current composite score. Given the experience of the panel in developing the initial composite score and the limitations they identified, Leapfro plans to host a one-day conference with a national group of experts in patient safety to formulate a research agenda around the future work that is needed to maintain and improve publicly reported composite measures of patient safety in U.S. hospitals.
The Leapfrog Group plans to host a one-day conference with a national group of experts in patient safety to formulate a research agenda around the future work that is needed to maintain and improve publicly reported composite measures of patient safety in U.S. hospitals.