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Leapfrog reveals WNY hospital grades

Leapfrog's grades for nearly 3,000 U.S. hospitals are released every six months.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A twice-yearly survey is outranking nearly three-thousand hospitals across the country for safety, including several here in Western New York.

They are the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades, and Leapfrog is an independent group that gathers information from hospitals and databases about more than thirty topics concerning safety measures hospitals take.

Two Catholic Health campuses, Kenmore Mercy and Sisters of Charity, got As.

"Infection control is one of the areas that over the past several years or so, all of our campuses have performed tremendously well within those spaces. That definitely has helped us attain some of the high-level grades that we've had," says Hans Cassagnol, Catholic Health's Chief Physician Executive. "The thing that's really important about Leapfrog, especially when you start looking at infections, especially when you start looking at patient experience, it gives you the snapshot of the most recent twelve-plus months or so."

And, it's all searchable online.

In order to get the highest grade possible, Catholic Health says a hospital has to fill out the survey, which means it needs the resources to have someone do that. Catholic Health credits high ratings in the patient experience and infection control measure categories for its good grades. 

They also say it's a team effort.

"Without nursing colleagues, without the work at the front line, we would not be talking about how well we've done in the Leapfrog survey over the past literally decades," says Hans Cassagnol.

Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport, which got a D rating, sent us a statement saying:

"Due to the small size of our hospital and limitations of our current electronic medical record, ENH does not submit data to Leapfrog, making the final grade an inaccurate measure of our overall quality and safety.

ENH is proud to report that in 2021 there were no instances of surgical site infections, central line infections, catheter acquired infections, and MRSA infections, which are consistent measures of quality and safety.  ENH has also achieved full hospital accreditation and additional accreditation for radiology, mammography, and rehabilitation services. Safety and quality of all hospital services are of paramount importance to ENH and our low infection rates and hospital accreditations are confirmation of these priorities."

A spokesperson for ECMC told us, “The latest Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade scores continue to use outdated data from as early as 2018. Also, some of the data significantly disadvantages hospitals that treat the poor and sicker patients and gives an advantage to hospitals with elective patients with commercial coverage. We continue to advocate through hospital associations to have Leapfrog use contemporary data that accurately reflects the severity of illness of patients safety net hospitals treat, often transferred from other hospitals.”

2 On Your Side also asked Kaleida for a comment on Tuesday and we have not heard back yet.

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