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Packard Children's wins kudos for patient safety

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital is one of only nine U.S. children's hospitals to make the first-ever "Leapfrog Top Hospitals" list.

The Leapfrog Group is a nationwide consortium of nearly 200 health-care purchasers that aims to improve health care by offering comprehensive evaluations of providers, based on compliance with a set of patient safety and quality of care criteria.

The Top Hospitals list includes 59 hospitals, selected from 1,200 institutions that responded to the group's voluntary survey. Among the practices Leapfrog considered in the ranking were the presence of pharmacists on site 24 hours a day, seven days per week; adherence to effective methods of preventing infections; ensuring adequate nursing staffing, and properly informing patients of procedure risks.

This is the latest in a series of awards that Packard Children's has received for its safety practices. The success follows a move by the hospital's board in 2003 to make safety the hospital's No. 1 priority.

"Given the complexity and high-risk nature of the patients we treat at Packard Children's, our patient safety track record is remarkable," said the hospital's chief clinical patient safety officer Paul Sharek, MD, MPH. "This is not by accident. The consistent message throughout the entire hospital is 'patient safety first,' and it's a commitment shared by the entire medical, nursing and ancillary staff."

For more information about the Leapfrog rankings and to see each hospital's results, visit www.leapfroggroup.org.