The Leapfrog Group, with its very special and narrow focus, is an entity likely never heard of by most people in New Jersey and throughout the rest of the country.

That unfamiliarity does not extend to hospital administrators, virtually all of whom know exactly what the Leapfrog Group is and does. Some of them are doubtless elated by the attention they receive from Leapfrog, while others rue the day that the group ever cast its organizational eye upon their facilities.

The Leapfrog Group is a nonprofit that exists to gauge hospital quality based on a number of national standards. It recently paired up with AARP, the advocacy group for the elderly, to put a spotlight on the sheer amount of doctor errors and medical malpractice that routinely occurs across the country and to acknowledge what it deems as the safest and most innovative hospitals in the United States.

The need to address the problem is urgent, according to safety experts. A federal government report indicates that about 6,000 “never events” — surgical errors such as operating on the wrong patient or body part — occur every month in the country. An Institute of Medicine study concludes that approximately 400,000 medication errors resulting in patient injuries occur annually in the nation’s hospitals.

“Preventable hospital errors are a terrible danger to American families, says Leah Binder, Leapfrog CEO.

Binder and many medical commentators believe that highlighting what the best hospitals nationally are doing to combat surgical and drug errors, hospital-acquired infections and other problems — publicly naming those hospitals — will motivate other facilities to perform better, as well as put important information in the hands of patients.

Source: AARP, “Lessons from America’s safest hospitals,” Beth Howard, April/May 2013 issue

  • Surgical errors and other hospital mistakes take a heavy personal injury toll on patients in New Jersey and nationally. For information on our firm and its staunch advocacy of patients who have been injured by surgical and other medical errors, please visit our New Jersey Surgical Errors page.