How Safe is Your Capital Region Hospital?

Hospitals in New York rank among the worst in the nation for safety according to the Leapfrog Group's annual report. The report examines hospital errors, accidents and infections. New York hospitals rank #48 in the nation.

Local hospital rankings include:

Ellis Medicine - D

St. Peter's - C

Albany Memorial - D

Albany Medical Center - C

Saratoga Hospital - C

Berkshire Medical - A


Hospitals in Hawaii were rated as the best in the nation.

On their website, the Leapfrog Group details how they rank hospitals:

Hospitals with a numerical score greater than or equal to 3.159 earn an “A.” Hospitals with a numerical score less than 3.159, but greater than or equal to 2.971 earn a “B.” Hospitals with a numerical score less than 2.971, but greater than or equal to 2.502 earn a “C.” Hospitals with a numerical score between 1.5 standard deviations and 3.0 standard deviations below the mean earn a “D,” and hospitals with a numerical score more than 3.0 standard deviations below the mean earn an “F.”

The Expert Panel selected 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data, analyzed the data and determined the weight of each measure based on evidence, opportunity for improvement and impact. Information from secondary sources supplemented any missing data to give hospitals as much credit as possible toward their Safety Grade.

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade places each measure into one of two domains: (1) Process/Structural Measures or (2) Outcome Measures, each accounting for 50 percent of the overall score.

  • Process Measures represent how often a hospital gives patients recommended treatment for a given medical condition or procedure. For example, “Responsiveness of hospital staff” looks at patients’ feedback on how long it takes for a staff member to respond when they request help. Structural Measures represent the environment in which patients receive care. For example, “Doctors order medications through a computer” represents whether a hospital uses a special computerized system to prevent errors when prescribing medications.
  • Outcome Measures represent what happens to a patient while receiving care. For example, “Dangerous object left in patient’s body” measures how many times a patient undergoing surgery had a dangerous foreign object, like a sponge or tool, left in his or her body.

A hospital must have enough safety data available for our experts to issue them a letter grade. Hospitals missing more than six process measures or more than five outcome measures are not graded. All hospitals are encouraged to voluntarily report additional safety data through the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, but they are not required to do so to receive a Safety Grade.

Some hospitals belong to health systems that report data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as a single entity with a shared "Medicare Provider Number (MPN)." This means that individual hospitals within these systems will be graded using the same aggregate data. Leapfrog encourages these types of hospitals to report additional safety data through the Leapfrog Hospital Survey so that patients can see how each hospital is doing individually.

At this time, we are unable to assign a grade to military or VA hospitals, critical access hospitals, specialty hospitals, children’s hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, etc. Our experts are studying ways to rate them in the future.

Photo: Getty Images

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