Best and Worst Hospitals in NYC (2021)
Posted on May 31, 2021 in Firm News
Your favorite hospital in New York City may not be as safe as you thought.
In the Spring 2021 edition of the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report, New York State hospitals ranked 46th in the nation for patient safety, a one percent drop from ratings released in Fall 2020. Among the 149 New York hospitals reviewed, 16 facilities (10.7%) received an A rating, and only two are located in New York City.
According to a study by John Hopkins University, over 400,000 people die every year due to preventable medical errors. Medical institutions have an obligation to implement safety protocols to reduce the number of medical errors causing fatal injuries. However, safety measures are only effective when facilities use them consistently, and some hospitals in NYC have been dropping the ball.
Patients go to the hospital to get healthy, not to incur more injuries. As we continue to battle against COVID-19, hospital safety and health policies have become more vital than ever. When hospitals neglect to uphold their safety policies, patients have a right to know. In this article, we will discuss the importance of researching your local hospitals using the latest Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades and the steps you can take before your next visit to avoid becoming a statistic of medical negligence.
NYC Hospitals from Best to Worst
Best & Worst Brooklyn Hospitals – Ranked
- NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn (A)
- The Brooklyn Hospital Center (B)
- Coney Island Hospital (C)
- Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center (C)
- SUNY Downstate Medical Center University Hospital of Brooklyn (C)
- NYC Health and Hospitals Kings County (C)
- Interfaith Medical Center (C)
- NYC Health and Hospitals Woodhull (C)
- Mount Sinai Brooklyn (D)
- Maimonides Medical Center(D)
- Brookdale Hospital Medical Center (D)
- New York – Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital (D)
- Wyckoff Heights Medical Center (D)
- New York Community Hospital (F)
Best & Worst Bronx Hospitals – Ranked
- NYC Health and Hospitals – Lincoln (C)
- BronxCare Health System (C)
- Barnabas Hospital (C)
- NYC Health + Hospitals – North Central Bronx (C)
- Montefiore Moses Campus (D)
- Montefiore Wakefield Campus (D)
- NYC Health and Hospitals – Jacobi (D)
- Montefiore Einstein Campus (D)
Best & Worst Manhattan Hospitals – Ranked
- NYU Langone Hospitals (A)
- Mount Sinai Morningside (B)
- Mount Sinai West (B)
- NYC Health + Hospitals – Metropolitan (B)
- The Mount Sinai Hospital (B)
- New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia University Medical Center (C)
- NYC Health and Hospitals – Lincoln (C)
- NYC Health + Hospitals – Harlem (C)
- New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center (C)
- Lenox Hill Hospital (C)
- New York-Presbyterian, Lower Manhattan Hospital (C)
- NYC Health + Hospitals – Bellevue (D)
- Mount Sinai Beth Israel (D)
Best & Worst Queens Hospitals – Ranked
- NYC Health and Hospitals Queens (B)
- Mount Sinai Queens (C)
- Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Hospital (C)
- New York-Presbyterian Queens (C)
- Flushing Hospital Medical Center (C)
- Jamaica Hospital Medical Center (C)
- John’s Episcopal Hospital (C)
- NYC Health and Hospitals Elmhurst (D)
Best & Worst Staten Island Hospitals – Ranked
- Richmond University Medical Center (D)
- Staten Island University Hospital (D)
The list above features all 45 hospitals ranked in NYC during the Spring 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades. The Leapfrog Group – an independent nonprofit organization – has been releasing biannual reports for the last 20 years to promote transparency in the United States healthcare system. The ratings are determined by evaluating up to 27 national patient safety performance measures proven to lead to severe and fatal medical injuries.
Working under the guidance of an expert panel, Leapfrog assigns a single grade ranking for each participating hospital for their overall ability to keep patients safe based on information gathered from the biannual Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service, and other supplemental data sources. The primary safety categories evaluated for each facility include infections, problems with surgery, practices to prevent errors, safety problems, and doctor, nurse, and hospital staff.
For a city as large as NYC, with over 8.6 million residents, there are very few high-quality hospitals to go around. In the Spring 2021 Leapfrog grading report, 45 hospitals and medical centers were reviewed across the five boroughs.
Hospital Safety Grade Changes Due to COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked an overhaul of hospital safety practices across the country. Hand washing, sanitizing, patient monitoring, and the use of adequate Personal Protective Equipment (P.P.E.) has become crucial to preventing hospital-wide outbreaks among staff and patients.
A public statement released by the Leapfrog Group on March 8, 2021 announced several changes to the grading process to include all new COVID-19 safety standards required by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.). The announcement also addressed updated extended timelines to consider staff shortages, supply shortages, and a lag time in record entry due to an influx in patients during peak infection periods.
The areas most affected by the updated COVID-19 changes include:
- Reporting Periods
- Scoring for the Computerized Physician Order Entry (C.P.O.E.)
- Scoring and Publish Reporting for Hand Hygiene
- Reduced Sample Sizes (Maternity Care and Outpatient Medication)
New York patience can view a full PDF version of the Summary of Changes to the 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Survey by clicking the link.
What’s Causing Poor Scores?
New York City hospitals with poor Leapfrog safety grades are struggling across multiple levels of patient care. When looking at the hospitals that received D ratings, the following areas were of deepest concern:
- Infections: High rates of bacterial infections, infections in the blood, and infections near surgical sites.
- Problems with Surgery: Deaths from 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 bedsores.
- Staffing: Poor communication with doctors and nurses, poor responsiveness from staff, and ineffective leadership.
Additionally, many D and F-rated facilities refused 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 conclude that these hospitals are either hiding information or are not keeping adequate records.
Either outcome puts a patient’s health at risk and could result in permanent or fatal consequences. Hospitals have a responsibility to implement and follow safety protocols proven to keep patients safe. Facilities that fail to do so must be held accountable to prevent millions of others from similar harm.
How To Protect Your Health
No patient should ever feel obligated to accept sub-par medical care, but not all New Yorkers have a personal advocate to point out negligence when it arises.
Patients can reduce their risk of preventable medical errors by becoming strong health advocates for their treatment. Voicing your concerns and learning to recognize the most common hospital errors can help spot mistakes before they result in harm; it can often be the only way to prevent errors in a chaotic hospital environment.
According to Consumer Reports, these are the five most common hospital errors all patients should be aware of when learning to become a personal health advocate:
- Falls: Hospital staff do 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. Ask your nurse to help you move around in your bed and get up for a walk whenever possible. If you feel too weak, request physical therapy sessions to increase your strength.
- 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 a scheduled discharge to review the written plan for aftercare and ask questions prior to leaving about any steps that are confusing.
- Antibiotic Misuse: Antibiotics are overprescribed and can lead to “superbug” infections that are difficult 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’s administered, and what it’s treating.
NYC Medical Malpractice Experts You Can Trust
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.
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=