The Leapfrog Group released a new report – Safety In Numbers: Hospital Performance on Leapfrog’s Surgical Volume Standard Based on Results of the 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Survey. The report analyzes whether hospitals are performing a sufficient volume of high-risk surgeries to safely do so, and whether the hospital grants privileges only to surgeons meeting the Leapfrog minimum volume standard. The report also records whether hospitals actively monitor to assure that each surgery is necessary.
Safety In Numbers uses final hospital data from the 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the flagship initiative of The Leapfrog Group. More than 2,100 hospitals participated in the 2019 Survey, representing 70% of U.S. hospital beds. Since 2018, Leapfrog has publicly reported on hospital performance in meeting minimum volume standards for safety of eight high-risk procedures.
The eight surgeries included in the Survey were identified by Leapfrog’s National Inpatient Surgery Expert Panel as procedures for which there is a strong volume-outcome relationship. The Expert Panel relied on published research and evidence to advise on minimum hospital and surgeon volume standards for each procedure.
Of the eight high-risk procedures assessed in the report, esophageal resection for cancer and pancreatic resection for cancer are the two procedures where the fewest hospitals met the volume standard for patient safety – less than 3% and 8% respectively. The procedure for which hospitals were most likely to meet the safety standard was bariatric surgery for weight loss (48%). Additionally, the report’s analysis shows that while many rural hospitals are doing the right thing by not performing these procedures, those that continue to do so are not likely to meet the volume standards.