Association Between Hospital-Reported Leapfrog Safe Practices Scores and Inpatient Mortality

This article examines the relationship between hospitals' scores on a survey that measures safe practices and risk-adjusted inpatient mortality. The Safe Practice Score allows hospitals to measure steps they have taken to implement Safe Practices For Better Healthcare, a set of practices endorsed by the National Quality Forum.

The authors used the safe practice score and observational analysis of discharge data for all urban hospitals that completed the 2006 safe practice initiative to conduct a hierarchical logistic regression.

Key Findings:

  • Survey scores were not significantly associated with risk-adjusted patient mortality.
  • The hospitals who scored in the lowest quartile of the Safe Practice Score Risk had adjusted mortality rates of 1.97 percent. The adjusted rates were 2.04 percent for the second quartile, 1.96 percent for the third quartile, and 2.00 percent for the highest quartile. These variations were not statistically significant.

A hospital's Safe Practices Score does not predict its overall adjusted mortality rate. Further research is needed to investigate whether the Safe Practice Score is linked to other measures of hospital performance.