Be a Safety Champion for Your Employees

Friday, April 17, 2015

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone reading this that companies across the country are spending more on health care than they earn in profit. What might come as a surprise is the proportion of that number that is spent on inefficiencies, waste, and catastrophic medical errors. From our research at The Leapfrog Group, we have found that employers and other purchasers pay an average of $8,000 per hospital admission for errors, injuries, accidents and infections. A recent calculation was truly shocking: 29 percent of one company’s yearly expenditure on health care was spent on these preventable errors. But by banding together, we can grow a movement toward safer, higher-quality care. And you’ll save lives and dollars in the process.

To serve employers and other health care purchasers, The Leapfrog Group developed the Hidden Surcharge Calculator and the Hospital Safety Score Purchaser Toolkit. Both are completely free and were developed with the guidance of top patient safety experts, as well as employers that are committed to increasing transparency and driving improvements in their local community’s health care. In crafting these tools, our intention was to create a framework for straightforward and comprehensible actions that employers can take (right now!) to influence the quality of care their employees receive.

Hidden Surcharge Calculator

Just awarded a Certificate of Validation Seal from The Care Innovations™ Validation Institute—an initiative of GE and Intel—the Hidden Surcharge Calculator helps purchasers estimate how much they pay for medical errors. By shifting employees to “A” hospitals through improved benefits plan design, employers can decrease these hidden surcharges and protect their employees and dependents from harm.

Purchaser Toolkit

Payers and consumers both need to know the reality of hospital safety and rates of serious medical errors like mortality rates, falls, infection rates, or surgical mistakes. In our Purchaser Toolkit, we demonstrate how to use your leverage with health plans to ensure they require network hospitals to report key safety and quality data to publicly-accessible databases like the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Plans can offer a financial incentive to those hospitals that choose to report, or penalize or exclude those that do not.

In addition to applying your leverage with health plans and hospitals, employers can play the crucial role of alerting employees about hospital safety. To that end, we have crafted an array of “plug and play” resources you can use to communicate with your employees about hospital safety.  We feature articles for an employee newsletter, quick and dirty talking points for internal social media platforms or conversations around the office, a template email from your company’s CEO, and a PowerPoint presentation, perfect for a “Lunch and Learn” opportunity.

Leapfrog was formed 15 years ago by employers just like you; driven, business-minded and - most importantly - dedicated to the health and well-being of their employees. We are exceptionally proud to work with the Florida Health Care Coalition, an organization that has taken huge strides in bringing purchasers to the table to advance quality and safety for the people of Florida. We invite you to take advantage of the resources found above, and continue to be a proactive player in driving improvements in your community.

Leah Binder
President & CEO
The Leapfrog Group

Leah Binder, The Leapfrog Group 4/17/2015

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