The Fall 2019 Leapfrog Safety Ratings are giving some New Yorkers a reason to be afraid of the hospital. Among the 147 medical facilities evaluated in New York this season, only 11 hospitals received an ‘A’ rating. The majority of hospitals scored a grade of ‘C’ or ‘D’, ratings that indicate facilities lacking in successful protocols to help prevent patients from harm.
When looking at the overall summary of ratings for NYS, these were the results:
- 11 scored an ‘A’
- 18 scored a ‘B’
- 88 scored a ‘C’
- 30 scored a ‘D’
New York State is now in the bottom five states across the country when it comes to prioritizing patient health and safety, sitting at number 47 out of 51. Long Island hospital ratings were equally as unimpressive in comparison to facilities statewide. Of the 21 hospitals graded:
- 2 scored an ‘A’
- 4 scored a ‘B’
- 13 scored a ‘C’
- 2 scored a ‘D’
The percentage of Long Island hospitals providing average to below-average care was slightly lower than the state average, but still concerning. More than 70 percent of hospitals in NY received a ‘C’ grade or lower compared to over 60 percent of facilities on Long Island.
On a national scale, here’s how New York State and Long Island grades compared:
- ‘A’ Grade: U.S. (33%), NYS (8%), LI (9.5%)
- ‘B’ Grade: U.S. (25%), NYS (12%), LI (19%)
- ‘C’ Grade: U.S. (34%), NYS (60%), LI (62%)
- ‘D’ Grade: U.S. (8%), NYS (20%), LI (9.5%)
(percentages rounded accordingly)
With medical errors still serving as the third leading cause of death in our country, these results are heartbreaking. Patients seek medical care from a hospital to get better, not to leave in worse condition than when they came. Medical facilities that are not adhering to safety protocols or implementing them in the first place are unnecessarily jeopardizing the health of every patient who walks through the doors.
Preparation is a patient’s first line of defense against becoming a victim of medical negligence. Thankfully, the Leapfrog Safety Grades provide guidance to get you started by educating patients on how to research and prioritize safety measures to receive the best quality of care.
Why LI Hospitals Are Falling Behind
The Leapfrog Group has been evaluating the safety and health practices of hospitals across the country for almost 20 years. By releasing two annual reports since 2012, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades have helped millions of patients choose the right medical facility by providing education and transparency of the U.S. health care system.
Leapfrog uses an A-F grading system derived from evaluating 28 safety measures proven to reduce injuries to patients across hospital and medical facility settings. These 28 measures are categorized into five main groups: infections, problems with surgery, practices to prevent medical errors, safety problems, and doctors, nurses & hospital staff. Hospitals are scored on each safety measure independently to comprise the final letter score.
The two lowest-scoring hospitals on Long Island received ‘D’ grades: Southside Hospital in Bay Shore and Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow. These are some of the safety measures they appear to be struggling with the most:
- MRSA infections;
- Surgical wound splits;
- Infections in the urinary tract;
- Death from serious treatable complications;
- Errors in doctors ordering medications through computers;
- Patients experiencing serious breathing problems;
- Dangerous blot clots;
- Accidental cuts and tears;
- Communication (about medication and discharge);
- Patient falls and injuries;
- Safe medication administration;
- Dangerous bedsores;
- Having enough specially trained doctors for ICU;
- Communication with doctors and nurses; and
- Responsiveness of hospital staff.
Some hospitals (including Southside Hospital) refuse to report information on particular safety measures. This automatically equals a below-average score for that area, which negatively impacts the overall grade of the hospital.
Refusals to report information result when a hospital is not keeping track of their data, forgets to submit requested data, does not have a protocol in place for a safety measure, or when a facility is trying to hide flaws. Whatever the reason, patients might want to beware of hospitals with missing data in areas that directly affect their treatment and health needs.
How To Use The Grade
Once you have the information you need to compare the safety protocols of hospitals in your area, it’s time to choose the best one for your health. But how?
Aside from looking at the most current hospital grade in the Fall 2019 ratings, Leapfrog suggests also researching how hospitals scored specifically in three areas: handwashing, infection prevention, and fall prevention. These three safety measures affect all patients equally and can lead to serious injuries when carelessness or negligence occurs.
Other factors that may sway your judgment on a hospital include:
- Type of procedure or treatment needed;
- The urgency of treatment needed;
- Recommendations from family, friends, and loved ones;
- Referrals from physicians and specialists you trust; or
- Specialty needed.
If you are stuck between two hospitals for a procedure, take a tour! Scheduling a tour of the hospital grounds will provide you with a better idea of the experience and condition of the facility. It will also give you a chance to test out their level of communication and protocols based on what you witness during your tour.
Long Island Hospital Ratings
Take a look below to see how hospitals scored near you:
Mather Hospital (Port Jefferson)
St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center (Roslyn)
Huntington Hospital (Huntington)
Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center (West Islip)
NYU Winthrop Hospital (Mineola)
St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center (Smithtown)
South Nassau Communities Hospital (Oceanside)
Mercy Medical Center (Rockville Centre)
Long Island Jewish Valley Stream (Valley Stream)
Long Island Jewish Medical Center (New Hyde Park)
North Shore University Hospital (Manhasset)
Glen Cove Hospital (Glen Cove)
St. Joseph Hospital (Bethpage )
Plainview Hospital (Plainview)
Syosset Hospital (Syosset)
Stony Brook University Hospital (Stony Brook)
BMHMC DBA LI COMMUNITY HOSPITAL (Patchogue)
Peconic Bay Medical Center (Riverhead)
Southampton Hospital (Southampton)
Nassau University Medical Center (East Meadow)
Southside Hospital (Bay Shore)
For more detailed information on where how each hospital was graded, find the comprehensive list of New York State hospitals here.
Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber, have over 20 years of experience serving clients across New York City and Long Island. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to medical negligence, our medical malpractice attorneys at Siler & Ingber are here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at +1 516-294-2666, or schedule an appointment online anytime. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.