When you go to the hospital, you expect to receive top-notch treatment. At a minimum, you assume that you will leave in a better condition than you arrived in — yet this isn’t always the case. On Long Island, not every hospital is high quality, leaving some patients at risk of infections and worse.
A nonprofit group recently released its hospital safety grades. Understanding where your local hospitals fall on this list can help you make a more informed choice when it comes to deciding where to receive care.
According to a Long Island medical malpractice lawyer, injuries and illnesses as a result of improper and unsafe medical care are far too common. A skilled attorney can work with you to help you get the compensation that you deserve if you have been the victim of medical malpractice.
How Does Your Hospital Rank?
A nationwide survey of hospitals was recently released by the Leapfrog Group. This survey is conducted twice a year to inform the public about issues such as which hospitals are the best at preventing medical errors, accidents, injuries and infections.
Overall, hospitals have reduced the number of avoidable deaths — an incredibly positive development in an area where a mistake can cost people their health and their lives. According to Leah Binder, the president and CEO of Leapfrog, many hospitals are making significant improvements in their patient safety records.
Leapfrog analyzed the records of approximately 2,500 general acute-care hospitals. They then assigned letter grades to these hospitals, which can be used to determine a patient’s risk of further injury or infection if they go to that hospital. Of the 2,500 hospitals surveyed, 30% earned an “A” grade, 28% earned a “B,” 35% earned a “C,” 6% earned a “D,” and 1% received a “F.” Across New York, just 8.28% of hospitals have an A grade.
On Long Island, just two hospitals received an A grade: Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson and St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn. North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset received a B. The majority of hospitals surveyed on Long Island received a C. These include:
- Good Samaritan Hospital Center in West Islip
- Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park
- Long Island Jewish Valley Stream in Valley Stream
- Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre
- Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow
- Northwell Health – Huntington Hospital in Huntington
- Northwell Health System – Glen Cove Hospital in Glen Cove
- Northwell Health System – Plainview Hospital in Plainview
- Northwell Health System – Syosset Hospital in Syosset
- NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola
- Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead
- South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside
- Southhampton Hospital in Southampton
- Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown
- Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson
- Joseph Hospital in Bethpage
- Stony Brook University Hospital in Stony Brook
Northwell Health System – Southside Hospital in Bay Shore received a D, while Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in Patchogue received a F.
If your local hospital has a C grade or lower, you may consider going to a different hospital — if you have that choice. However, in an emergency, you should seek medical attention immediately. These safety grades should be used as a tool when you can plan in advance for medical treatment.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
In New York, if a medical provider does not provide the appropriate treatment, neglects to take action, or offers substandard care, you may have a claim for medical malpractice. This can happen in any number of ways, from failure to diagnosis, to giving the wrong dose of medication or an incorrect medication, leaving surgical equipment inside of a patient, or failing to properly clean equipment.
There is a 30 month statute of limitations (2.5 years) to file a medical malpractice claim under New York law. This means that you have this length of time to file a lawsuit — or else your claim will be barred. However, there are a number of exceptions to this general rule.
First, the clock on the statute of limitations does not begin ticking until you discover that medical malpractice has occurred. With this type of case, it may not be possible to know that you have a claim until another doctor diagnoses you with an illness, or you begin to show symptoms. For this reason, the statute limitations begins to run when you knew or should have known of the injury.
Second, the statute of limitations will not run while you are receiving continuous treatment for an illness or injury. Once you finish treatment with a provider, the statute of limitations will begin under the Continuous Treatment Doctrine.
Third, if you are not competent due to a psychiatric disability or because you are a minor, the statute of limitation stops. In New York, the waiting period for a person to regain competence after a psychiatric disability is 10 years. For minors, the statute of limitations begins to run when the child turns 18, however the waiting period cannot exceed 10 years.
Fourth, if the hospital or medical provider is owned by the city or county, the statute of limitations is different. In this situation, a notice of claim must be filed with 90 days of the date of injury. After that, a lawsuit must be filed within 15 months. Similar rules apply to lawsuits filed against the U.S. government.
Work with a Long Island Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical malpractice can result in catastrophic illness or injuries, and even death. A skilled Long Island medical malpractice lawyer can help you recover the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
If you have been injured by the negligent or wrongful conduct of a medical professional or hospital, Winkler Kurtz, LLP can help. Since 1987, our seasoned attorneys have worked with victims of medical malpractice and other types of personal injury to help them recover compensation for their injuries. Call us today at 631-928-8000 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.