Claim: NY State Hospitals Ranked 48th Out of 49 in Safety

Ilene Corina, President Pulse CPSEA

But Is a "Good" Hospital Score a Guarantee of Safe Care? Editorial by Ilene Corina, President, Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy

The Leapfrog Group, the nonprofit hospital safety rating organization, has just released its Spring 2018 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, which ranks the safety of hospitals state-by-state. Disturbingly for those of us who live in New York, our state dropped one notch since the fall 2017 survey, now ranking 48th out of 49 in hospital safety nationwide. (Only Delaware, Alaska and North Dakota, ranked equally at 49, fared worse.)

This is not good news for Empire State residents. It shows that despite hospitals managements’ good intentions and staff training programs, something isn’t working.

No matter how good a hospital's patient safety culture may be, there is always a risk. . .

Ilene Corina, President, PULSE Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy

There are two ways to improve patient safety. The first is driven by the hospitals themselves, educating and training their staff and putting preventive protocols in place. Clearly, from the survey results, that’s not enough, at least not as it’s being done in New York.

The second driver of patient safety? Patients themselves, and their families and advocates. Properly trained and made aware of the risks, they can be the first line of defense against medical or institutional error. This is the goal of Pulse CPSEA’s Family-Centered Patient Advocate Training, the next round of which starts Wednesday, June 6.

Still, we have to maintain perspective. Ratings are a tool. I know of too many people who were injured or died in “the best” hospitals. Hopefully, you won’t be injured at any of them, but there are never any guarantees. No matter how good a hospital’s patient safety culture may be, there is always a risk from individuals who are casual in their adherence to the hospital’s error-prevention practices. Though this is another tool to help choose your hospital or where you want to find a physician practice to treat you, it is not the only way.

(For more of my thoughts on this, please read my blog post on the occasion of last year’s Spring rankings report.)

To understand how hospitals are graded visit

Source: Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy