Long Island Community Hospital receives improved ‘C’ safety grade from Leapfrog
Long Island Community Hospital in East Patchogue

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Long Island Community Hospital receives improved ‘C’ safety grade from Leapfrog

Story By: NICOLE FUENTES
11/21/2019


Long Island Community Hospital recently received an improved hospital safety grade of C from Leapfrog Group’s 2019 ratings, released earlier this month. 

The nonprofit releases biannual safety grades on hospitals across the country. This year the group assessed more than 2,600 hospitals. According to Leapfrog, its rating system is based on performance measures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Leapfrog Hospital Survey and other supplemental data sources. Taken together, those performance measures produce a single letter grade representing a hospital’s overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors.

Long Island Community Hospital — according to its president and CEO, Richard Margulis — made the conscious decision to participate by submitting data about two years ago and creating a physician-led committee, communicating with a medical staff of over 500, with a focus on collecting and submitting data specifically for Leapfrog.

Just one year after forming the committee, the hospital jumped from its original grade of F to a D and then to a C in less than a two-year period. Margulis attributes this accomplishment to the hospital’s new commitment to submitting the data. According to him, the hospital has already had these measures in place and intensified them — like adding audits to simple measures like hand-washing — and has been properly reporting it to Leapfrog, which measures hospital safety ratings less on clinical data and more on the company’s independently created methodology. 

“Our goal is an ‘A,’ but one step at a time. Our ‘C’ represents our submitted data, our sharpened focus on reportable measures and our dedication to patient safety and to quality,” he continued. “Quality has always been and always will be paramount interest to Long Island Community Hospital,” Margulis added, emphasizing the hospital’s many accreditations; these include a trauma accreditation, DNV quality survey, Stroke Gold Plus Honor Roll Elite Plus Award, Five Diamond Award for Hemodialysis Quality, lung cancer screening center of excellence and education recognition by the American Diabetes Association.

Margulis explained that the board of directors created a vision focused on driving the hospital toward excellence and supports the progression they have already made. “The clinical staff has put their hearts into continually improving the quality of the hospital with every patient interaction,” he added.

The hospital is also among the top 10 percent nationwide for using the best-practice measures for sepsis, said Cynthia Ruf, vice president of branding and stakeholder relations. 

“Our hospital’s business is taking the lives of people into our hands; you cannot take that lightly,” Margulis said. “With our Leapfrog score, it was nothing new, but something we do inherently in our vision and core values,” he added, attributing the previous lower ratings to a lack of information. 

He also noted that Long Island Community Hospital was not the only organization that did not submit to Leapfrog and that some local hospitals still don’t. 

A total of 13 area facilities, including the Patchogue facility and Stony Brook University Hospital, received a C. Other C grades in the region include Glen Cove Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, Long Island Jewish Valley Stream, Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, Plainview Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital in Bethpage, South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, Southampton Hospital and Syosset Hospital. Southside Hospital in Bay Shore and Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow received a D grade.  No facilities on Long Island received an F grade in this most recent study. n