NEW YORK (PIX11) — Multiple New York hospitals received the dubious distinction of being among the least safe health care institutions in the country, according to a new study.
Consumer Reports studied 2,600 U.S. hospitals based on several safety criteria, including the incidents of hospital acquired infections, unnecessary readmissions, mortality and communication about new medicine.
“Even if you’re at the best hospital in the world, mistakes can happen,” said Doris Peter, who spearheaded the project at Consumer Reports.
The tested facilities scored between 11 and 78 on a scale of 100. Consumer Reports notes that the average score of hospitals is 51, with 43 facilities scoring below 30.
The findings show that, in general, urban hospitals fare worse than their suburban counterparts.
Among the best hospitals in New York are:
- St. Francis in Rosalyn
- John Mather Memorial
- Southampton Hospital
- Winthrop University Medical Center
- NYU Langone Medical Center
Among the worst hospitals in the area are:
- Flushing Hospital
- Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx
- Glen Cove Hospital
- Brookdale Hospital
- Kings County Hospital
A New York woman contracted MRSA, a super staph infection resistant to most antibiotics, while undergoing spinal surgery at the now-shuttered St. Vincent’s Hospital in the Village.
“I could have been dead. If I stayed home by myself, I would’ve died,” Maryann Roesler said.
Multiple surgeries later, Roesler still can’t walk unassisted and lives knowing that the infection could return.
Some 440,000 Americans are killed by hospital infections every year, making it the third largest killer after heart disease and cancer.
Lorraine Schiano’s 21-year-old son died at a Manhattan hospital from sepsis, an infection in his blood, 10 years ago. Nicholas Schiano was put on antibiotics and moved to the ICU during the day and that night was dead.
His mother can’t help but wonder if more could have been done, like identifying the problem and starting antibiotics earlier. Or being more aware cleanliness.
“His toothbrush was out on the counter and could get a germ on that, maybe a visitor had a cold?” she wondered aloud.
Experts say most hospital-acquired infections are preventable with better hand washing, medicine tracking and communication. Some facilities have changed procedures to eliminate their infection rate altogether.
Patients are urged to research their local hospitals before committing to a facility and, when they’re there, ask questions about the medication being prescribed and the procedures being followed to keep them safe and healthy.