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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Expanded hospital ratings will become available in June

By Liz Kowalczyk, Globe Staff

The Leapfrog Group, an organization that publicizes quality information on individual hospitals, is adding new ratings categories. Leapfrog now rates hospitals on whether they use computers to order patients' medications, employ doctors with special training in intensive care units, and other safety measures.

Starting in June, Leapfrog also will rate them on whether they have adopted a special policy for handling medical errors, which includes apologizing to patients, how open they are with the public about their performance, and how experienced their surgeons are at seven high-risk procedures. The Leapfrog program is voluntary, but a hospital's absence from the ratings may be a red flag.

Most Massachusetts hospitals are rated by Leapfrog, including the major teaching hospitals.

Posted by Karen Weintraub at 09:27 AM
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