Leapfrog Group Recognized for Efforts to Reduce Medical Errors

Published October 1, 2001

The Business Roundtable’s “Leapfrog Group” has received the esteemed Ellwood Award for outstanding efforts to foster consumer-focused accountability in health care.

The innovative Business Roundtable (BRT) initiative won the award for its commitment to reducing medical errors by leveraging the health care purchasing power of major employers and public health care purchasers.

Launched in November 2000, the Leapfrog Group is a growing consortium of Fortune 500 companies and other large health care purchasers who have committed to a common set of purchasing principles to drive “leaps” in patient safety. The group’s approximately 80 members provide health benefits to more than 25 million Americans, and with their employees spend more than $45 billion annually on health care.

Health Care News first reported the activities of the Leapfrog Group in March 2001, noting the billions of dollars spent on health care services by Leapfrog Group employer-members represents significantly more clout and potential for improvements than all the increased rules and regulations being issued by Washington bureaucrats.

Leapfrog Group members offer incentives to health care providers who adopt proven patient safety measures. Those measures include (1) computerized physician order entry, (2) evidence-based hospital referral, and (3) intensive care unit (ICU) staffing by physicians trained in critical care medicine.

Members have also agreed to alert the health care industry that big leaps in patient safety and customer value will be recognized with preferential use and intensified market reinforcements.

Accepting the award were John J. Castellani, president of the BRT, and Suzanne Delbanco, Leapfrog’s executive director.

“We are pleased that The Leapfrog Group is receiving this prestigious award,” said Lewis B. Campbell, chairman of the BRT Health and Retirement Task Force and chairman and CEO of Textron Inc. “We officially launched this BRT initiative to reduce preventable medical errors just six months ago, and we have already been enormously successful in getting employers committed to the effort.

“Leapfrog has received the enthusiastic support of the business community and is well on its way to educating consumers and improving the caliber of care furnished to millions of Americans.

“Medical errors have been responsible for too many preventable deaths and injuries,” Campbell continued. “By bringing employers together through BRT’s Leapfrog Group, we have the opportunity to lead the way in ensuring patient safety and quality health care for employees and their families nationwide. The purchasing power of public and private employers has the potential to greatly reduce medical errors.”

The Ellwood award is presented by the Foundation for Accountability (FACCT) to organizations whose efforts demonstrate outstanding leadership, action, vision, and teamwork in improving the health care system for consumers. The awards are given annually in honor of Paul Ellwood, M.D., founder of the Jackson Hole Group.

For more information . . .

Contact John Schachter of The Business Roundtable at 202/872-1260.