Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Named One Of America’s Top Hospitals For Patient Safety And Quality

NEW BRUNSWICK – Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) has been named one of America’s Top Hospitals by the Leapfrog Group, an independent, national non-profit organization which consists of a blue ribbon panel of employer purchasers of health care and national experts on patient safety. RWJUH is one of only three New Jersey hospitals to earn a place on the prestigious list and one of only 92 that have been named a Top Hospital nationally.

RWJUH was selected as a Top Hospital out of nearly 1,200 hospitals participating in The Leapfrog Group’s annual survey. Hospitals reaching this achievement include academic medical centers, teaching hospitals, children’s hospitals, and community hospitals in rural, suburban and urban settings. The selection is based on the results of the Leapfrog Group’s annual hospital survey, which measures hospitals’ performance on patient safety and quality, focusing on three critical areas of hospital care: how patients fare, resource use, and management structures in place to prevent errors. The results of the survey are posted on a website ( open to patients and families, the public, employers, and other purchasers of healthcare.

Just last week, The Leapfrog Group gave RWJUH an “A” Hospital Safety Score based on results collected in their most recent, updated report. The score is assigned to hospitals based on infection rates, injuries and medical and medication errors.

“Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital places a strong emphasis on quality and patient safety and we are proud that the results of this most recent Leapfrog Hospital Safety Survey reflect our team’s diligent efforts in these areas,” says Joshua Bershad, MD, MBA, Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at RWJUH. “As New Jersey’s premier academic medical center, RWJ, in partnership with its faculty physicians at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and private doctors in the community, remains committed to serving as a leader that encourages both transparency and the sharing of best practices to improve patient safety and the quality of health care services delivered by our state’s hospitals.”

Dr. Bershad credits RWJUH’s pressure ulcer prevention as one of the reasons why the hospital earned a place on this list. For example, RWJ currently has a Pressure Ulcer Prevention task force that has steadily decreased the incidence of pressure ulcers since 2008. The academic medical center also uses the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators Pressure Ulcer Training module to educate staff and holds regular staff meetings to share current educational topics, best practices and conduct individual case reviews with patients.

RWJUH has also devoted a section of its internal website to pressure ulcer prevention to provide staff education, algorithms and product information for nurses. A key part of the hospital’s pressure ulcer prevention effort is its unit-based risk assessment report tool. This tool, which is a summary of nursing assessment data, provides a daily report of patients at risk for several indicators, including the potential development of a pressure ulcer.

Finally, the hospital recently purchased state-of-the-art hospital beds and mattresses that have demonstrated success in preventing pressure ulcers. The new beds are equipped with a warning system to alert staff if a patient, who is identified as at-risk for falls, attempts to get out of bed unassisted.

To develop the Hospital Safety Score and evaluate hospitals’ performance, the panel gathered data publicly reported at the national level, including measures reported by the federal government via the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the annual Leapfrog Hospital Survey. The final 26 measures calculated in the Hospital Safety Score cover falls and trauma, central line-associated bloodstream infections, very severe pressure ulcers, and preventable complications from surgery such as foreign objects retained in the body, postoperative hazards, and accidental punctures or lacerations. The Hospital Safety Score also credits hospitals on measures of the procedures and protocols known to prevent infections, errors and accidents, such as strong nursing leadership and engagement, hand hygiene policies, computerized physician order entry systems, adherence to medical and medication protocols that prevent complications, safety-first organizational leadership and culture, and the right level of staffing for the ICU.

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