St. Luke's Only Hospital in Lehigh Valley to Earn Leapfrog 'Top Hospital' Honors

St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem has been named one of the nation’s Top Hospitals in the Teaching Hospital category by Leapfrog Group, an independent nonprofit hospital watchdog organization.

This recognition is one of the health industry’s most prestigious honors. Unlike many other health care awards, it is based entirely on an independent, scientific review of objective data.

“St. Luke’s is proud to be the only health care network in the region to have earned Leapfrog’s Top Hospital recognition in the Major Teaching Hospital category,” St. Luke’s University Hospital President Carol Kuplen said. “In fact, not only is St. Luke’s the only hospital in the Lehigh Valley to have earned Leapfrog’s highest honor, it is one of only eight hospitals in all of Pennsylvania to have done so.

“This award is a credit to St. Luke’s outstanding leadership, providers, nurses and hospital staff and volunteers who day in and day out maintain an unwavering focus on quality and patient satisfaction. I couldn’t be prouder to work with such wonderful caregivers.”

Leapfrog's Top Hospital award recognizes the highest performing hospitals across many areas of hospital care, including infection rates, maternity care and the hospital’s capacity to prevent medication errors. In 2018, only 118 hospitals in total were awarded nationally across the four categories: Top Teaching, Top General, Top Rural and Top Children's hospitals.  

The Leapfrog award is further acknowledgement of SLUHN’s commitment to excellence. Earlier this year, St. Luke’s University Health Network was named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals in the Major Teaching Hospital category by IBM Watson Health, formerly Truven Health Analytics. This is the fourth year in a row and the sixth time overall that St. Luke’s has achieved the honor. Like the Leapfrog Top Hospital award, IBM Watson Health is based entirely on an independent, scientific review of objective data.

Additionally, St. Luke’s hospitals are the only hospitals in the Lehigh Valley to earn Medicare’s top five-star rating for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction in 2018.

For the Leapfrog Top Hospital award, data is gathered and publicly reported through the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. The survey compares hospitals' performance on national standards of patient safety, quality, efficiency and management structures that prevent errors, providing the most comprehensive picture of how patients fare at individual institutions. The data collected also enables hospitals to benchmark their progress toward Leapfrog's standards and measure the care they deliver.

“Leapfrog is proud to recognize the recipients of our most elite award for safety and quality,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We’re encouraged by the hard work of Top Hospitals, as well as all of the hospitals that compete for this award. Their transparency and determination delivers the best possible care in their communities.”

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About The Leapfrog Group

Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care.

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 14,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and more than 300 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the region’s first and only regional medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 28 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 226 residents and fellows.  St. Luke’s is the only health care system in central-eastern Pennsylvania to earn Medicare’s five-star rating (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  St. Luke’s has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health (formerly Truven Health Analytics) repeatedly – six times total and four years in a row including 2018.  It has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program.  Utilizing the EPIC electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.