Hospitals participating in the Leapfrog initiative, an effort by private companies to improve patient safety in hospitals, exhibited relatively limited progress in achieving the goals over a five-year period, according to a study in Medical Care Research and Review.
The researchers found that the lack of wide-scale improvement in terms of the initiative's goals was in part caused by the nature of the changes and the demands they placed on hospitals, particularly from budgetary and strategic perspectives. A number of national and state efforts to reduce medical errors, along with hospital administrators' skepticism that the initiative would generate financial incentives, also drew hospitals away from LF.
The authors recommended that policymakers reassess expectations of private employers' ability to affect change in the delivery of care in local health care systems. They add that large employers can continue to exercise influence in health care policy at the national level, especially in their ability to focus public attention on shortfalls in the U.S. health care system (Scanlon et al., MCRR, April 2008).