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 standards of safety, cleanliness and overall performance. On Monday, Oct. 31, according to the Fall 2016 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Guide, Syosset Hospital received a grade of “C.”

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Syosset Hospital, a branch of Northwell Health, is located at 221 Jericho Tpke.

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. Its 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.”

hospitalgrade_110916bThe 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 included an analysis of each measure and a comparison of what safer hospitals are doing in that given area.

Though Syosset Hospital, a member of Northwell Health, fared well in areas such as communication with nurses and responsiveness of hospital staff, receiving above average marks, the institution fell short in many crucial aspects. Below average marks were assigned in measures such as surgical wound splits open, dangerous blood clot, communication about medicines, communication about discharge, patient falls and specially trained doctors for ICU patients.

In response to the grade, Northwell Health released an official statement that said, “Whether we agree or disagree with the methodology used for one report card over another, we take hospital report cards seriously and use them for their intended purpose – to improve the quality of care to our patients.”

Syosset Hospital and Northwell Health has expressed its awareness of the situation, and assured that they are actively looking to remedy any issues and make improvements where necessary.

The statement by Northwell Health also stated, “Whenever information contained in the various ‘hospital report cards’ identifies a potential quality issue, the public can be assured we are already aware of it and working aggressively to resolve it. We do this routinely as part of our ongoing internal operations and analysis (no matter how high our grades may be), so that we can provide the best patient experience possible.”

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.

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