Not Making The Grade

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Each fall and spring, The Leapfrog Group releases a comprehensive ranking of hospitals from across the country based on their ability to meet certain standaHospitalGrade_110916Brds of safety, cleanliness and overall performance. On Monday, Oct. 31, according to the Fall 2016 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Guide, Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC) in East Meadow received a grade of “C,” while St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage received a “D.”

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization founded in 2002, aims to promote progress in the safety, quality and affordability of healthcare in the United States by invoking greater transparency. Their mission is to aid patients in making more informed healthcare decisions so that they receive high-value medical attention. These grades, from “A” to “F,” are assigned to more than 2,600 general acute-care hospitals in America using national performance measures from institutions including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey and Health Information Technology Supplement.

“Taken together, those performance measures produce a single letter grade representing a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors,” says Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Guide website. “The Safety Grade includes 30 measures, all currently in use by national measurement and reporting programs.”

The letter grade is broken down into categories that include infections, problems with surgery, practices to prevent errors, safety problems and doctors, nurses and hospital staff. Each category is further divided into specific measures that indicate whether the hospital is performing above average, below average or on par with other facilities. The report also includes an analysis of each measure and a comparison of what safer hospitals are doing in that given area.HospitalGrade_110916A

Though NUMC fared well in areas such as cleanliness and problems with surgery, receiving above average marks, the establishment fell short in many crucial aspects, including almost all levels of communication between nurse, doctors and hospital staff, and patient care in terms of preventing bedsores, patient sores and reducing patient risks. As for St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Catholic Health Services institution performed extremely below average in every category regarding infections and communicating with doctors and nurses as well as the responsiveness of the hospital staff. However, St. Joseph’s demonstrated above average marks in terms of leadership qualities and qualifications of nurses and staff.

Of the 138 hospitals in New York state that were taken into consideration, just 15 received an “A” grade, putting New York at 46 in the state -by-state rankings. On Long Island, 22 hospitals were taken into consideration. For a complete list of rankings and assigned grades, visit www.hospitalsafetygrade.org.

—Additional reporting by Jennifer Fauci

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