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The Best and Worst Hospitals in NYC

Hospitals in New York City may not be as safe as you thought. In the Spring 2019 edition of the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report, New York State hospitals ranked 43rd in the nation for patient safety. Out of the 146 hospitals reviewed statewide, 11 received an A rating, and only one of these hospitals is in New York City.

According to a study by John Hopkins University, over 400,000 people die every year due to medical errors. Medical institutions have an obligation to protect their patients from preventable harm. Although safety protocols help reduce the number of medical errors causing injuries to patients, these preventive measures are only effective when used.

Patients go to the hospital to get better- not sicker and more injured than when they arrived. When hospitals neglect their safety policies, patients should know. By reviewing the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades before you need medical treatment, New Yorkers can determine the safest location for their care and avoid becoming a victim of medical negligence.

New York City Hospital Grades

For a city with over 8.6 million residents, there are very few high-quality hospitals to go around. Of the 45 facilities reviewed in the five boroughs this spring:

  • 1 earned an A
  • 4 earned B’s
  • 24 earned C’s
  • 15 earned D’s
  • 1 earned an F

Leapfrog determines each hospital grade by evaluating 28 patient safety measures leading to severe and fatal injuries. Here is the full list of New York City hospitals reviewed this season:

Bronx

  • Montefiore Wakefield Campus (C)
  • Montefiore Moses Campus (C)
  • New York City Health and Hospitals Jacobi (C)
  • Montefiore Einstein Campus (C)
  • St. Barnabas Hospital (C)
  • BronxCare Health System (C)
  • NYC Health and Hospitals – Lincoln (C)
  • NYC Health and Hospitals- North Central Bronx (D)

Manhattan

  • NYU Langone Medical Center (A)
  • NYC Health and Hospitals – Metropolitan (B)
  • NYC Health and Hospitals – Bellevue (C)
  • Northwell Health System – Lenox Hill Hospital (C)
  • Mount Sinai St. Luke’s (C)
  • Mount Sinai West (C)
  • New York-Presbyterian The Allen Hospital (C)
  • New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia University Medical Center (C)
  • New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center (C)
  • NYC Health & Hospitals- Harlem (C)
  • New York-Presbyterian, Lower Manhattan Hospital (C)
  • Mount Sinai Beth Israel (D)

Queens

  • NYC Health and Hospitals – Queens (B)
  • Jamaica Hospital Medical Center (C)
  • Mount Sinai Queens (C)
  • New York-Presbyterian (C)
  • Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Hospital (C)
  • NYC Health and Hospitals- Elmhurst (D)
  • Flushing Hospital Medical Center (D)
  • St. John’s Episcopal Hospital (F)

Brooklyn

  • The Brooklyn Hospital Center (B)
  • NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn (B)
  • Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center (C)
  • SUNY Downstate Medical Center University Hospital of Brooklyn (C)
  • Wyckoff Heights Medical Center (D)
  • NYC Health and Hospitals – Woodhull (D)
  • Interfaith Medical Center (D)
  • Brookdale Hospital Medical Center (D)
  • NYC Health and Hospitals- Kings County (D)
  • New York – Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital (D)
  • Maimonides Medical Center (D)
  • Mount Sinai (D)
  • New York Community Hospital (D)
  • Coney Island Hospital (D)

Staten Island

  • Richmond University Medical Center (C)
  • Northwell Health System – Staten Island University Hospital (D)

What’s Causing Poor Scores

New York City hospitals with poor Leapfrog safety grades are struggling across multiple levels of patient safety. When looking at the hospitals that received a D rating, these were some of the major concerns:

Infections: High rates of bacterial infections, infections in the blood, and infections near surgical sites.

Problems with Surgery: Deaths from serious treatable complications, dangerous blood clots, and accidental cuts and tears.

Practices to Prevent Errors: Unsafe medication administration, ineffective communication about medicines, and lack of communication about patient discharge.

Safety Problems: High rates of patient falls and injuries, and dangerous bed sores.

Staffing: Poor communication with doctors and nurses, poor responsiveness from staff,  and ineffective leadership.

Another issue with some D-rated facilities was their refusal to report information on specific safety measures. Declining to provide data throws up red flags for safety advocates. With little information to analyze, researchers are left to one of two conclusions: 1) these hospitals are hiding information or 2) these hospitals are not keeping adequate records.  Either outcome could put patients at risk and result in permanent or fatal consequences.

How To Protect Your Health

New Yorkers should never feel obligated to accept sub-par medical care. To help reduce preventable medical errors, patients must become strong advocates for their health.

Learning how to voice your concerns and recognize the most common hospital errors can help patients spot mistakes before they result in harm. According to Consumer Reports, these are the five most common hospital errors to watch for:

  • Falls: Hospital staff does not always take preventative steps to avoid patient falls. Make sure the hospital staff is assessing your fall risk from admission. Let them know if you have fallen recently and where you need assistance.
  • Too Much Bed Rest: Patients can develop sores or secondary health conditions from staying in bed too long. Make sure to move around in your bed and get up for a walk whenever possible. If you feel too weak, request physical therapy to get you moving.
  • Chaotic Discharge: One in five patients discharged from the hospital will return within 30 days, and the discharge process is sometimes to blame. Meet with your discharge planner at least one day before your scheduled discharge to review the written plan for aftercare. Make sure you understand the steps to avoid accidents outside the hospital.
  • Antibiotic Misuse: Antibiotics are overprescribed and can lead to “superbug” infections that are hard to treat. Know why your doctor is prescribing an antibiotic and the risks to your health before taking them.
  • Medication Mistakes: Drug errors and medication mix-ups can be fatal. Educate yourself on all the medications your doctors prescribe, including the dose, frequency, side effects, how it is administered, and what the reason is for taking it.

NYC Medical Malpractice Experts

Hospitals owe it to their patients to provide the highest quality of care. For over 60 years, our medical malpractice attorneys at Pazer, Epstein, Jaffe & Fein, have been fighting for victims of medical negligence in New York City. If you or a loved one has sustained a serious illness or injury due to hospital negligence, our winning team of medical malpractice attorneys is here to support you. Contact us today for a free case evaluation to discuss your options.

Sources

Hallie Levine. “5 Common Medical Mistakes to Avoid in the Hospital”. Consumer Reports.(Retrieved May 23, 2019) https://www.consumerreports.org/health/five-dangerous-hospital-mistakes/

Vanessa, McMains. “John Hopkins study suggests medical errors are third-leading cause of death in U.S.” HUB. (Retrieved May 23, 2019) https://hub.jhu.edu/2016/05/03/medical-errors-third-leading-cause-of-death/

“About The Grade.” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. (Retrieved May 23, 2019) https://www.hospitalsafetygrade.org/your-hospitals-safety-grade/about-the-grade

“State Rankings.” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. (Retrieved May 23, 2019) https://www.hospitalsafetygrade.org/your-hospitals-safety-grade/state-rankings

“NY Hospitals” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. (Retrieved May 23, 2019)  https://www.hospitalsafetygrade.org/search?findBy=state&zip_code=&city=&state_prov=NY&hospital=