GRADING CARE: Group evaluates local hospitals, provides rating system for consumers

A non-profit health quality group has provided an update to safety grades for hospitals throughout the region. To come up with their grades, the organization looks at 27 publicly available measures to determine a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe.

Safe from what, exactly? Well, Leapfrog looks at information and data that contributes to the preventable harm category, which includes medical errors.

It also includes data on injuries, accidents and infections at the facilities. The grades range between A – for those hospitals scoring at the top; and F – for those scoring the worst.

What do the grades mean?

Leapfrog says to use the grading system for ‘planned events’. When it comes down to emergency treatment, they point out that no one should deny it.

What are the ratings at area hospitals?

Rochester General Hospital, Rochester — Grade: A
Highland Hospital, Rochester — Grade: A
Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester — Grade: B
Unity Hospital, Rochester — Grade: B
Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic, Clifton Springs — Grade: B
St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, Syracuse — Grade: B
Crouse Hospital, Syracuse — Grade: C
Cayuga Medical Center, Ithaca — Grade: C
Auburn Community Hospital, Auburn — Grade: C
Geneva General Hospital, Geneva — Grade: C
Newark-Wayne Hospital, Newark — Grade: C
SUNY Upstate University Hospital, Syracuse — Grade: D
Cortland Regional Medical Center, Cortland — Grade: D
F.F. Thompson Hospital, Canandaigua — Grade: D

The grades primarily consist of measures collected via publicly reported information from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

For hospitals that scored lowest, the big issues were accident falls, infection issues, and  various types of staffing challenges.

F.F. Thompson Hospital, who scored lowest in the immediate Finger Lakes area did particularly poorly with regard to infection rating. MRSA, C. diff, as well as infection in the blood during an ICU stay all pulled Thompson’s rating lower.

Geneva General Hospital also scored particularly poorly with C. diff infection and blood infection during an ICU stay. However, they performed well in other categories, which prevented their score from dipping too low.

What is the ‘safer’ competition doing?

According to Leapfrog, doctors and nurses should clean their hands after caring for every patient. Hospital rooms and medical equipment should be thoroughly cleaned, as well, on a regular basis. Safer hospitals also keep MRSA patients separate from other patients and require providers and visitors to wear gloves and gowns around these patients.

Click on the hospital above to see the specific breakdown on the facility.


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