Consumer Reports Expands Hospital Ratings List

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , April 19, 2013

Consumer Reports has nearly doubled the number of hospitals that fall under the updated hospital safety ratings that the magazine first published last August.

However, th e expanded review that began with 1,159 hospitals last year and has grown to include 2,031 hospitals still shows low scores across five measures: readmissions, complications, communication, the overuse of CT scans, and infections. The data from federal and state governments cover different time ranges, depending on the specific measure.

The average score for all hospitals was 49. Consumer Reports said.

"When it comes to healthcare, average should never be good enough, and this average is clearly not even close," John Santa, MD, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, said in prepared remarks.

Santa said it was particularly worrying to see that almost two-thirds of the nation's 258 teaching hospitals that report enough data to calculate a safety score ranked below average. "Those hospitals should set the bar higher but that is not happening," Santa said.

In the New York City area, for example, 27 of the 28 teaching hospitals in the region scored below the national average. The exception: Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, NY. Overall, 58 of the New York City area's 70 hospitals with a safety score ranked below average.

University of Connecticut Health Center, John Dempsey Hospital had the dubious distinction of earning a score of 17, the lowest score of any teaching hospital in the nation. Officials at the Farmington, CT hospital issued a lengthy statement challenging the Consumer Reports rating.

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2 comments on "Consumer Reports Expands Hospital Ratings List"

Iraj Roshan, MD (4/23/2013 at 1:06 PM)
This is just the tip of the iceberg: Most hospitals make sure the Aspirin and the ECG are done on time: The simple things. But, they don't care if the troponin assay is not run right or if the Monitor tech does not have any training in reading the monitor. Unfortunately, complaints lead to retaliation in an era that the head of the "doctors" organization is in the pocket of the hospital CEO. I have seen if first hand in East Texas. Welcome to the era of "Accountable" and "integrated" healthcare Delivery.

jsilver (4/22/2013 at 12:11 PM)
This comes as absolutely NO surprise to the hundreds of thousands of RN's who are working under extreme conditions in thousands of hospitals across the country. Staffing ratios are out of control. It is impossible to bring the full advantage having an RN taking care of you brings when the working conditions are so miserable. Senator Barbara Boxer gets it. The NNU gets it. The RN's get it. Only the AHA refuse to address this critical need, but since they own the legislators, nothing will get done.




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