Consumer Reports releases hospital safety rankings; Connecticut hospitals neither best nor worst

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The magazine Consumer Reports released its first-ever hospital safety rankings today,and while no Connecticut hospitals made their list of the top 10 safest hospitals, no facilities in the state made their bottom 10 list, either.

The report ranking 1,159 hospitals in 44 states based on six categories: ability to limit infections,  rate of readmissions, overuse of scanning, communication, and mortality rates. Each hospital was given a score between 1 and 100. Nationwide, the best-ranked hospital was the Billings Clinic in Billings, Mont., which received a score of 72. The worst-ranked was Sacred Heart Hospital in Chicago, with a score of 16.

In Connecticut, only 20 of the state’s roughly 30 hospitals were ranked, and the highest-scoring was Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, with a score of 64.Also ranking high were The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich (with a score of 62), St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport (54), Waterbury Hospital (54) and Manchester Memorial Hospital (54).

John Dempsey Hospital, and the University of Connecticut Health Center had the lowest score, at 28. Rounding out the bottom five were The Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain (36), MidState Medical Center in Meriden (41), Yale-New Haven Hospital (41) and Bridgeport Hospital (42).

Several hospitals in our region didn’t receive rankings, including Griffin Hospital in Derby, Greenwich Hospital, and Milford Hospital. Many in the area were in the middle of the pack, including Stamford and Norwalk hospitals (which both had rankings of 51), Danbury Hospital (with a 48) and the Hospital of Saint Raphael, with a 44.

The rankings come about a month after a similar set of safety rankings released by the nonprofit Leapfrog Group, run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits. Leapfrog gave hospitals a letter grade based on their performance on 26 hospital safety measures. The measures used to determine the grades include rates of infections, falls, complications and other problems at hospitals, as well as adherence to safety practices, such as proper staffing levels and hand-washing.

That list also gave unenthusiastic safety grades to Connecticut hospitals, giving a “C” to 12 facilities in the state, including Bridgeport Hospital and Yale-New Haven. Only four received an A, including Saint Raphael and St. Vincent’s.

In a press released, Dr. John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, said the rankings were disappointing on the whole. About 51 percent of the hospital ranked in the report received a score below 50. “The safety scores provide a window into our nation’s hospitals, exposing worrisome risks that are mostly preventable,” he said.

According to a 2010 report by the Department of Health and human Services, infections, surgical mistakes and other medical harm contribute to the deaths of 180,00 hospital patients a year.

Amanda Cuda

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One Response

  1. LENNART ELMLUND says:

    Hello Amanda,
    Thank you for sharing this information with your readers. It is pretty unbelievable that CT hospitals like Yale is not among the top 25 but even below the mid point.. Although personally I have had excellent service at Yale Medical there must obviously be room for improvements.
    The new federal program that will push hospitals to become not only safer but also more efficient shall produce result as the hospitals will be fined for non-conformance. The lack of team spirit with many surgeons playing the emperor to whom administrators and nurses bow their heads seems to be one important root cause for inferior quality care and high cost. Is it time to look overseas and learn from the Canadians and Europeans how to run an efficient healthcare system.
    I am sure those countries will be honored to help out.
    Kind regards
    Lennart