Our Blog

How Safe Is Your Hospital?

New York State hospitals are failing to protect their patients. According to the Fall 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, New York is now among the bottom five states in the country for hospital safety. The state dropped six spots in the last six months from 43 to 47, only ahead of West Virginia, Wyoming, Alaska, and North Dakota.  

Less than 7.5 percent of hospitals in NY received an ‘A’, and only two of these facilities are located in New York City. Medical errors lead to over 250,000 fatalities every year, according to a 2016 study published by Johns Hopkins Medicine. Though accidents occur, most medical errors can be prevented when proper safety and health protocols are in place.  

NYC Hospital Grades 

The Leapfrog Group evaluates thousands of hospitals across the United States every year. Committed to driving quality, safety, and transparency, Leapfrog releases two reports annually to provide patients with the information they need to make educated decisions about their health. 

Of the 45 medical facilities graded in NYC, here’s how they ranked: 

  • 2 scored an ‘A’  
  • 3 scored a ‘B’ 
  • 26 scored a ‘C’ 
  • 14 scored a ‘D’ 

Putting into perspective the fact that NYC has an estimated population of over 8.5-million residents, at least 600,000 commuters, and an unmeasurable number of tourists visiting on a daily basis, this report indicates that only two hospitals would be able to provide above-average care.  

Thankfully, no facilities received an ‘F’ rating this season, but a shocking 91 percent of hospitals scored a ‘C’ grade of average care or below. Over 30 percent of NYC hospitals received a ‘D’, a frightening statistic considering only 8 percent of facilities nationwide received the same grade.  

The Leapfrog Group evaluates hospitals based on 28 safety measures known for reducing harm to patients, including rates of preventable errors, injuries and infections, and whether hospitals have systems in place to prevent them. These measures are split into the following five categories: 

  • Infections: MRSA Infections, C. diff Infections, infections in the blood, infection in the urinary tract, surgical site infection after colon surgery.  
  • Problems with Surgery: dangerous object left in a patient’s body, surgical wound splits open, death from serious treatable complications, collapsed lung, serious breathing problem, dangerous blood clots, accidental cuts, and tears.  
  • Practices to Prevent Errors: doctors who order medication through a computer, safe medication administration, handwaving, communication about medicines, communication about discharge, staff who work together to prevent errors.  
  • Safety Problems: dangers bed sores, patient falls and injuries, air or bass bubbles in the blood, track and reduce risks to patients.  
  • Doctors, Nurses & Hospital Staff: effective leadership to prevent errors, enough qualified nurses, specially trained doctors to care for ICU patients, communication with doctors, communication with nurses, the responsiveness of hospital staff.  

‘D’ rated hospitals in NYC are struggling with several of the safety measures mentioned above. Some of the most concerning areas include dangerous blood clots, death from treatable complications, infections in the blood, and communication/responsiveness from doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff. Failure to improve on these safety measures can lead to further health complications and preventable patient fatalities to come.  

How To Use the Grade 

The grade a hospital receives from Leapfrog is not meant to label a hospital safe or unsafe overall. Patients must do their research into the safety measures most affecting their health to determine which hospital is the best match for their care.  

Regardless of your health needs, the Leapfrog Group advises patients to look into these three safety measures to get an overall idea of how well a facility prioritizes patient safety:  

  • Handwashing: Make sure your hospital has a handwashing policy to ensure all staff members are washing their hands before and after patient contact. 
  • Infection in the blood:  Hospitals who perform high rates of central lines increase a patient’s risk for infections in the blood. Infections can lead to sepsis and other health complications.  
  • Patient falls: Falls during hospital care can cause significant harm to patients and are highly preventable with proper safety measures and supervision.  

Do Your Research To Stay Safe  

Hospitals and medical centers have a responsibility to provide the highest standards of care to their patients. When hospitals are careless or negligent, patients pay the ultimate price.  

Unfortunately, not every hospital is safe. And medical errors cannot always be predicted based on a facility’s safety grade. NYC patients must do their research and ask questions before receiving care at a facility in your area.  

For more information on hospital grades and safety, find out more about the Leapfrog Group here. To see how your local hospital scored in the Fall 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report, see the full list of facilities below:  

A-Rating 

Mount Sinai West (New York) 

NYU Langone Hospitals (New York) 

B-Rating 

NYC Health Hospitals – Metropolitan (New York) 

NYU Langone Hospital (Brooklyn) 

The Mount Sinai Hospital (New York) 

C- Rating  

BronxCare Health System (Bronx)  

Coney Island Hospital (Brooklyn) 

Flushing Hospital Medical Center (Flushing) 

Interfaith Medical Center (Brooklyn) 

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center (Jamaica)  

Lenox Hill Hospital (New York) 

Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Hospital (Forest Hills) 

Montefiore Einstein Campus (Bronx) 

Montefiore Moses Campus (Bronx) 

Montefiore Wakefield Campus (Bronx)  

Mount Sinai St. Luke’s (New York) 

Mount Sinai Queens (Long Island City) 

New York-Presbyterian, Lower Manhattan Hospital (New York) 

New York-Presbyterian The Allen Hospital (New York) 

New York-Presbyterian Queens (Flushing) 

New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia University Medical Center (New York) 

New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center (New York) 

NYC Health and Hospitals North Central (Bronx)  

NYC Health and Hospitals – Lincoln (Bronx)  

NYC Health & Hospitals – Harlem (New York) 

NYC Health and Hospitals – Woodhull (Brooklyn) 

NYC Health and Hospitals Kings County (Brooklyn)  

NYC Health Hospitals – Queens (Jamaica) 

SUNY Downstate Medical Center University Hospital of Brooklyn (Brooklyn) 

St. Barnabas Hospital (Bronx) 

The Brooklyn Hospital Center (Brooklyn) 

D-Rating 

Brookdale Hospital Medical Center (Brooklyn) 

Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center (Brooklyn) 

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital (Far Rockaway) 

Maimonides Medical Center (Brooklyn) 

Mount Sinai Beth Israel (New York) 

Mount Sinai Brooklyn (Brooklyn) 

New York Community Hospital (Brooklyn) 

New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital (Brooklyn) 

NYC Health and Hospitals Jacobi (Bronx) 

NYC Health and Hospitals – Bellevue (New York) 

NYC Health and Hospitals (Elmhurst) 

Richmond University Medical Center (Staten Island) 

Staten Island University Hospital (Staten Island)  

Wyckoff Heights Medical Center (Brooklyn)  

NYC Medical Malpractice Lawyers 

There is no excuse for injuries caused by preventable medical errors. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or illness due to medical negligence, our winning team of medical malpractice lawyers is here to fight for your rights. 

The law firm of Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein has been successfully advocating for NYC patients for over 60 years. Contact us for a free consultation to review your case and explore your options for justice.