Two area hospitals receive high marks for safety but others lag - The Buffalo News

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Two area hospitals receive high marks for safety but others lag

Kenmore Mercy Hospital and Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk received “A” grades for safety but Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport rated an “F” in an update of the Leapfrog Group’s survey.

Leapfrog, an employer coalition that promotes hospital quality and patient safety, grades hospitals in the United States on how they protect patients from accidents, errors, injuries and infections.

Eastern Niagara scored below-average on catheter-associated urinary tract infections.

Other Western New York hospitals received a mix of grades.

Mercy Hospital in South Buffalo and Sisters Hospital in Buffalo and its St. Joseph Campus in Cheektowaga received “B” grades.

Five scored a “C” grade: Erie County Medical Center, United Memorial in Batavia and three Kaleida Health facilities – Buffalo General, Millard Fillmore Suburban in Williamsville and Degraff Memorial in North Tonawanda. Kaleida Health was graded as one entity, with the same grade applied to all its facilities as if they all performed the same on every measure.

Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston, which scored below average on colorectal surgical site infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections, received a “D.”

Hospitals have made progress against infections and errors, but studies indicate problems still exist.

An estimated 400,000 patients – an estimate far higher than found in previous studies – die each year related to preventable harm occurring at hospitals in the United States, according to a report published last year in the Journal of Patient Safety.

In another report released last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal agency found that about 1 in 25 patients develops at least one infection during a hospital stay, adding up to 722,000 infections in 2011.

Some of Leapfrog’s measures examine how well a hospital does on such measurable errors or accidents as deaths from serious treatable complications after surgery. Others look at how well hospitals follow procedures to prevent problems, such as using computerized systems to order medications.

Leapfrog noted that its reports show that nearly one-third of all hospitals have seen a 10 percent or higher improvement in performance since 2012 as a result of such practices as hand hygiene and administering correct antibiotics prior to surgery.

“The data tells us that more hospitals are working harder to create a safe environment, and that’s good news for patients,” Leah Binder, president and chief executive officer of Leapfrog, said in a statement.

Leapfrog is one of a number of organizations that produce hospital report cards.

Hospitals that do well tend to publicize their results. Those that do poorly tend to ignore them.

“Our goal is to have all our hospitals achieve an ‘A’ rating,” John Kane, Catholic Health vice president of quality and patient safety, said in a statement. “Mercy and Sisters hospitals were very close to receiving Leapfrog’s top score, and we will continue to focus our quality efforts to achieve top performance throughout our system.”

Leapfrog has come under criticism for its grading methods.

The Healthcare Association of New York State last year gave Leapfrog one out of three stars in a report card about groups that grade hospitals. The hospital lobbying organization knocked Leapfrog for relying heavily on what it called invalidated survey data.

Go to to view all Leapfrog safety scores.


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