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St. Francis leads LI in hospital patient survey

St. Francis Hospital's DeMatteis Center in Greenvale. (April

St. Francis Hospital's DeMatteis Center in Greenvale. (April 9, 2013) Credit: Ian J. Stark

More than four out of five patients treated at St. Francis Hospital last year rated their overall experiences highly, giving it the highest rate of satisfied patients among Long Island hospitals, according to a federal survey.

 “We stress communication with patients as an integral part of patient satisfaction,” said Ruth Hennessey, executive vice president and chief administrative officer at St. Francis Hospital, where 81 percent of patients gave it a score of nine or 10 out of 10. “That applies to everyone from our security guards who greet patients to nurses and doctors.”

Other high-rated hospitals include Eastern Long Island Hospital, John T. Mather Memorial Hospital of Port Jefferson and Northwell, formerly known as North Shore University Hospital.  

Only 42 percent of patients at Nassau University Medical Center gave a score of nine or 10. St. Joseph Hospital and Peconic Bay Medical Center had some of the lowest overall rates. (Look up scores for all local hospitals by clicking on the link below.)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services randomly selected and surveyed adult patients at least 48 hours after they were discharged. The 32-question survey asks about various areas of hospital care such as cleanliness, the quality of communication with nurses, doctors and hospital staff, as well as administrative services like payment, discharge and care transfer.

Among New York area hospitals, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital’s rate improved the most between 2014 and 2015. More than half or 59 percent of their patients rated the overall hospital service highly, compared to 53 percent in 2014.

Glen Cove Hospital had the biggest decrease in the rate of patients who found their overall experiences great. In 2015, 64 percent of the patients gave high scores, a 10 percent drop from 71 percent in 2014.  

The survey results were part of a collection of data the federal government keeps on most hospitals.  The collection also tracks quality of care by looking at patients’ mortality and re-admission rates.  For instance, Nassau University Medical Center had the highest rate of deaths among patients with serious treatable complications following surgery – 175.23 deaths per 1,000 patients – making it the only Long Island hospital with a fatal complication rate worse than the national average.

Nassau University Medical Center’s spokesperson said the center's high fatal complication rate reflects the patients the hospital typically treats.  

“Nassau University Medical Center, as the county’s safety net hospital, serves a very unique population. A large percentage of surgeries performed… are emergent in nature, whereas other largely private hospitals on Long Island, have a much higher percentage of elective cases,” said Shelley Lotenberg, a director of public affairs for Nassau University Medical Center.

Long Island Jewish Medical Center had the lowest rate on the Island with 96.67 deaths after surgery for every 1,000 patients. 

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