Hospitals get low grade for health

Patients in New York hospitals are at a higher risk to pick up an infection than patients elsewhere in the U.S., according to a new study out yesterday.

HealthGrades, a medical watchdog group, ranked states based on the risk of patients in hospitals to pick up infection. The states with the lowest risk of infection are South Dakota, Iowa and Montana.

Unfortunately, New York state came in near the bottom of the list, at number 38. And our neighbors aren’t much better: Hospitals in states like New Jersey and Connecticut were deemed even more unclean than New York.

Patients are generally infected through tubes or catheters placed in the arm, neck or groin area that are used to give fluids or medications, or to draw blood for testing.

“Hospital infections are usually transmitted from lack of hand washing,” said an occupational therapist at a Port Jefferson hospital who declined to give her name. “I don’t know what Long Island hospitals or New York state hospitals are doing differently from the rest of the country but in my hospital, it’s extremely rare for a patient to leave home with an infection they didn’t come in with.”

Good news for Long Island

It’s not all bad news for Long Island’s hospitals. John T. Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson and St. Francis Hospital both received top Patient Safety Excellence awards based on overall hospital performance and lack of incidents.

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