Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) June 29, 2012
During the June 22, 2012 program, Business RadioX™'s HealthCare Consumerism Radio welcomed consumerism advocates Dr. Wendy Lynch, co-director of the Center for Consumer Choice in Health Care at the Altarum Institute, and Leah Binder of The Leapfrog Group. The duo educated the listening audience about employers being more proactive in providing information to their employee population. The pair showed the value of educational information and decision support tools that help employees become better consumers of health and thus lower skyrocketing health care costs.
One of the key tools at employers’ disposal is the Leapfrog Group’s inaugural Hospital Safety Score, which gave letter grades to more than 2,600 hospitals around the nation. The survey focused on patient safety. It took into consideration infections, patient falls, accidents and medical and medication errors. The survey used publicly available information and an independent blue ribbon panel of experts providing guidance.
The survey highlighted the country’s best hospitals and warned against the worst to save lives and bring attention to the nation’s silent safety epidemic. The survey revealed more than 180,000 Americans die every year and 400 die every day due to errors in the hospital.
The survey also illustrated how the quality of hospitals are declining around the nation. Of the 2,652 general hospitals issued a Hospital Safety Score, 1,243 earned a "C" or below, 729 earned an "A," and 679 received a "B."
“Actually the results were really not that surprising,” said Binder, president and CEO of the Leapfrog Group, who is a keynote speaker at IHC FORUM West on Sept. 6-7 at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas. “There have been lots of efforts to address patient safety, but what we still have is what has to be considered a crisis problem. A problem where 1 in 6 patients admitted to a hospital will have an adverse event, 1 in 6. It is an astronomical problem and it remains so.”
Employers are beginning to use quality and safety ratings; however, employees and the general public have not. To curb this trend and get consumers more engaged, the Leapfrog Group has designed http://www.hospitalsafetyscore.org, a website where consumers can type in their ZIP Code, city, state or a hospital name and get that hospital’s scorecard.
The website provides quality transparency and has been getting a great deal of hits. Consumers are learning they have a choice when it comes to where they can go to receive health care.
“Employers really should focus on the fundamentals...choice in safety, quality and cost,” said Lynch, who also is a keynote speaker at IHC FORUM West. “When employers start the move to high deductible and consumer-directed plans, it changes the dynamics, and it puts them in a much different role as a purchaser. But they [employers] also need information to support them and there isn’t a better example of that than what the Leapfrog Group has done with its hospital survey.”
In addition to the interview with these two advocates on educating and engaging consumers to make better decisions about their health care, Binder and Dr. Lynch also engaged one another in a lively conversation about health care consumerism.
To hear the podcast of HealthCare Consumerism Radio's interview with Binder and Dr. Lynch, please visit http://www.theihcc.com/radio.
About The Guests:
The Altarum Institute (http://www.altarum.org) integrates objective research and client-centered consulting skills to deliver comprehensive, systems-based solutions that improve health and health care. A nonprofit serving clients in the public and private sectors, Altarum employs more than 400 individuals and is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., with additional offices in the Washington, DC area; Sacramento, Atlanta, Portland, Maine; and San Antonio.
The Leapfrog Group (http://www.leapfroggroup.org) is a national organization using the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for Americans. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey allows purchasers to structure their contracts and purchasing to reward the highest performing hospitals. The Leapfrog Group was founded in November 2000 with support from the Business Roundtable and national funders, and is now independently operated with support from its purchaser and other members.
About The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism:
The Institute for HealthCare Consumerism is the only multi-platform, collaborative community focused exclusively on innovative health and benefit management. It’s a place for employers (including human resources and benefits managers, wellness executives, C-suite executives, financial management decision makers, executives), TPAs, solution providers, brokers, advisors, consultants, and administrators of regional health plan providers to LEARN, CONNECT and SHARE through The Institute’s publication, CDHC Solutions Magazine, its live conference series FORUM East and FORUM West, and its online networking community. As a catalyst for the growth of the health care consumerism movement, The Institute deepens the conversation and collaboration between its invested stakeholders.
About Atlanta Business RadioX™:
Atlanta Business RadioX™ provides a turnkey solution for business owners who want to leverage the power of internet radio to meet their best prospects, establish credibility for their organization and heighten the placement of their brand in search engines rankings. With a professional venue and a proven formula, Atlanta Business RadioX™ helps hosts podcast their shows and create a regular stream of dynamic content to share with their prospects and feed the search engines every week. Programs are recorded and streamed live to the internet from our corporate offices in suburban Atlanta. For more information or to see a live show, visit: http://www.BusinessRadioX.com.