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Parents of Hospitalized Children May Not Feel Equipped to Report Mistakes, According To Latest Leapfrog Group Patient Experience Report

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The Leapfrog Group released its Pediatric Care report, the final report in a three-part series, Patient Experience During the Pandemic. The report finds that parents or guardians did not feel equipped to report mistakes about their child’s care at a hospital, raising serious patient safety concerns. The report also highlights the critical need for more transparency and public reporting for pediatric patient experiences.

The Leapfrog analysis covers pediatric patient experience in hospitals during both a pre-pandemic (2019
Leapfrog Hospital Survey) and mid-pandemic (2021 Leapfrog Hospital Survey) timeframe. Hospitals
collect this data from the patient’s parent or guardian through a questionnaire called the Consumer
Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Child Hospital Survey (Child HCAHPS).

Public reporting of Child HCAHPS results is not mandated, and results are only available for those
facilities that voluntarily report the results to Leapfrog. The Leapfrog public reporting website is one of
the only places where the public can access information about pediatric experiences in hospitals.

Pediatric patient experience remained relatively stable during the pandemic, even suggesting slight
improvements. However, there remain serious issues with patient safety. Across the areas examined,
key findings include:

  • Parents or caregivers of pediatric patients may not feel equipped to report mistakes about their
    child’s care. They indicated the least favorable responses about whether hospital staff check the
    patient’s wristband to confirm their identity and if parents were told how to report mistakes
    about their child’s care.
  • Parents or caregivers reported more favorable responses regarding how well doctors
    communicate with their child, improving by a statistically significant amount during the
    pandemic.

The report suggests that despite minimal change during the pandemic, significant room remains for
improvement. Research shows that patient experience is a critical indicator of safety in hospitals, and
facilities that provide better experiences for patients tend to provide safer, higher quality care.
About Patient Experience During the Pandemic

Patient Experience During the Pandemic is a new three-part series that examines pre-pandemic and mid-
pandemic patient experience in three different settings of care: facilities that provide same-day
surgeries, adult inpatient hospitals, and hospitals that treat pediatric patients.

Installments of the series include:

  1. Part One: Outpatient Surgical Care
  2. Part Two: Adult Inpatient Care
  3. Part Three: Pediatric Care

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