Some hospitals in New Jersey are doing a good job at health and safety—but many are still struggling to create a safe environment for patients. The November release of the Leapfrog Group’s “hospital report card” shows New Jersey tied with Texas at #17 in rankings for public health and safety.
Even though 25% of the New Jersey hospitals scored an “A” grade, the bad news for New Jersey is that 47% of the 68 hospitals reviewed received a grade of “C” or below. Additionally only three of the five hospitals that previously delivered straight “A” marks in the report were able to maintain their “perfect” health and safety status. These are Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Saint Barnabas Medical Center, and Jersey City Medical Center.
Hospitals that received a “D” grade include Hackensack UMC at Pascack Valley, Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, and University Hospital. Each hospital attributes the low grade to skewed figures. Hackensack reportedly did not submit data since its acquisition in 2013 and the others blame obsolete data that does not reflect recent improvements.
In March 2016, the CDC released a report on the incidence of infections occurring in US Acute Care Hospitals. Even though New Jersey improved year over year in two areas, it didn’t have the same level of progress as the national figures. Instead, it demonstrated higher rates of infection as measured by the standardized infection ratio (SRI) in 5 of the 6 main infection types. Notably only 20 states performed worse than the national SIR on at least two infection types and only 10 states, including New Jersey, performed worse than the national SIR on at least three infection types. Many of these infections occur during or after surgical procedures.
It’s important for patients to realize there is a risk of infection or injury when they are hospitalized. However, that risk can be exponentially increased if in an environment where there are poor health and safety standards, inconsistent safety measures, and/or negligence.
If you are in need of care, but are unsure of which hospital to choose for your treatment, the Leapfrog Group has a hospital comparison tool that might be worth checking out.
If someone you know developed an infection, died, or was otherwise injured during or after a hospitalization event, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney to help identify the cause and your options for insurance coverage or long term assistance. This is especially important if you have been in a hospital that performs poorly in hospital health and safety rankings.