Archive for the tag 'hospitals'

Photo by Maria Danalakis

PBS just published an article that delves into the complicated and confusing world of hospital grading, a system that is baffling people as to how effective and reliable their hospital choices are.

Hospitals are graded by a wide range of rating organizations, all using different metrics to sort through what they consider quality care:

The calculations that go into these ratings are complex. Most hospital assessments synthesize dozens of pieces of data Medicare publishes on its Hospital Compare website, including death rates and the results of patient satisfaction surveys. They also examine other sources and use private surveys to create user-friendly lists or grades, which they display on their websites.

The Joint Commission looks at how frequently patients received recommended treatments, such as flu shots for those with pneumonia. Consumer Reports examines the numbers of patients who die or are readmitted, infection rates and Medicare patient surveys of their experiences. Leapfrog looks at data from its surveys of hospitals, the consistency with which hospitals followed safe surgical practices and frequencies of infections and some types of patient harm. Healthgrades analyzes detailed Medicare records to find death and complication rates for 27 procedures and conditions.

I decided to take a quick look at Coney Island Hospital’s scores and found that not only was I getting different answers, but different kinds of answers depending on which grading service I used.

Leapfrog gives Coney Island Hospital a C letter grade score. When you click the link that explains how they arrived at that score, they don’t address the specific hospital in question. Instead, they give you a complicated breakdown of their scoring system in general.

Healthgrades doesn’t give a final easy to read to ranking like Leapfrog, but rather parses its rating over several various procedures. For example, according to Healthgrades, Coney Island Hospital’s treatment of collapsed lungs is ranked above average while their treatment of blood clots following surgeries are ranked below average. It lends to itself to a level of specificity that promotes more vagueness than clarity.

Overall, the article presents a fascinating look at how too much information might be limiting people in their effort to gain a clear picture of the best health care options available to them, and is well worth checking out.

Source: Gregory Maizous

The following is a press release from the Health and Hospitals Corporation:

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation announced today that for the first time since Hurricane Sandy flooded its basement and first floor, causing substantial damage to its emergency department, Coney Island Hospital is again receiving ambulances for most types of cases through the City’s 911 service.

“The restoration of ambulance service brings us one step closer to our goal of restoring all services in the facility and re-establishing ourselves as the primary health care source in southern Brooklyn,” said Arthur Wagner, the hospital’s Executive Director.

“Since the storm, Coney Island has been systematically restoring services to help meet the healthcare needs of the community,” said Dr. John Maese, Chief Medical Officer. “We are delighted to again expand our much-needed services to the community and accept 911 ambulances.”

Ambulances began arriving at Coney Island on Wednesday, February 20. The hospital is accepting most types of 911 patients, including heart attacks and stroke cases. Trauma care and labor and delivery remain closed.

Repairs are ongoing at Coney Island, and its emergency department continues to function at a reduced capacity due to storm damage. However, the hospital’s Tower Building has re-opened along with most of its inpatient beds and imaging and laboratory services, and the hospital has for several weeks been admitting walk-in patients from its emergency department and patients from other HHC facilities.

It has inpatient adult psychiatric beds available, operating rooms, as well as medical/surgical and intensive care beds. All primary and specialty outpatient clinics are open, and have been operating a fleet of mobile medical vans providing primary care services and flu shots in parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island affected by Sandy.

Photo courtesy of MDanalakis via Flickr

Source: Maria Danalakis

FEMA has approved $103 million in aid to the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation to help fund repairs at facilities including Coney Island Hospital (2601 Ocean Parkway).

Senator Charles Schumer announced last week that the funding would come through, according to the Wall Street Journal, and will contribute to repairs at Bellevue Hospital, Goler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Metropolitan Hospital Center in addition to Coney Island.

The $103 million package still falls far from the $810 million HHC execs said they needed to come back from Sandy at a press conference two weeks ago. That number includes $200 million for Coney Island Hospital, and is the total estimated price for repairs, revenue loss and improvements to protect against future storms.

Regardless, the FEMA grant will help fill the coffers and keep repairs underway.

“I’ve seen the damage with my own eyes, and it was devastating. I appreciate FEMA listening to our pleas and getting these funds here quickly. This is not the end of the aid that these hospitals will need – not by a long shot – and we’ll keep fighting until the hospitals have been fully restored and they can get back to what they’re good at – helping New Yorkers heal and recover,” Schumer said Thursday.

Coney Island Hospital is currently open for most outpatient and some inpatient services. They expect to be fully operational and resuming emergency room intake within the next few months.

The “all in” costs for repairing Coney Island Hospital (2601 Ocean Parkway) and upgrading it to be better prepared for future storms is approximately $200 million, Health and Hospitals Corporation President Alan Aviles told Sheepshead Bites during a press conference yesterday.

Aviles led U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and reporters on a tour of the facility, showing off the hospital’s progress nearly two and a half months after Superstorm Sandy. The two announced that repairs to the city’s public hospitals in the wake of the storm and necessary improvements will cost $810 million – an amount included in the $51 billion aid being considered in Congress.

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We’ve extensively covered the mayhem and damage visited upon Coney Island Hospital since Superstorm Sandy flooded its basement and first floor and knocked out its power late last October. A Metrofocus report now looks to the future as Coney Island Hospital, and other hospitals shut down by Sandy, begin to plan to better protect their infrastructure  and better handle mass evacuations to prevent life threatening conditions for patients in critical need.

When Sandy struck Coney Island Hospital, the situation was dire.

“It was really, really frightening because all of a sudden there were no lights […]no communication. No communication even with the telephones that we have here in the hospital. No communication with any cell phone,” Terry Mancher, the chief nursing officer at Coney Island Hospital told Metrofocus. “We were pretty much left totally by ourselves.”

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A high-powered spotlight used to illuminate Coney Island Hospital’s (2601 Ocean Parkway) construction work appears to be irking neighbors, and possibly blinding drivers.

Here’s what tipster Ed L. wrote to us:

There is a lack of concern for the neighbors and community as well as the safety of cars that come around the corner of Shore Parkway and East 6th St.  The construction crew aim the lights in the direction of Shore Pkwy and East 6th St blinding drivers as they turn the corner as well as blinding the community. I have asked for the lights to be aimed at the hospital not into the windows and streets of the community. They just don’t care.

Well, we doubt the folks there don’t care. The hospital shuttered during Sandy, and has only partially reopened as they make repairs. With thousands in the community depending on them as a 911 intake facility and provider of other critical health services, we know the team is  laboring to bring the community hospital back on line as soon as possible. But that’s no excuse for making a dangerous situation for drivers and neighbors.

Sheepshead Bites has contacted the hospital’s administration and is awaiting a response.

A nurse at work at the Coney Island Hospital Urgent Care Center.

Though the staff and administration at Coney Island Hospital (2601 Ocean Parkway) continue on the arduous road of repairing the hospital after Superstorm Sandy, they have announced the opening of their Urgent Care Center.

An important note is that the Urgent Care Center is not an emergency room. The center cannot treat true emergencies and no patients will be admitted. They do not have functioning X-ray machines, MRIs or food services.

Thus, the staff requests that you call 9-1-1 if an individual is severely injured or suffering serious or life-threatening issues. The Urgent Care Center is for less serious injuries and will send true emergency cases to another hospital, which could cost valuable care time.

The Urgent Care Center can be accessed through the East 6th Street entrance.

Here is what the hospital currently offers:

  • Available for adult and pediatric patients 24/7
  • Available for obstetric patients from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. (prior to 8 p.m., patients can visit the OB/GYN clinic in Tower 107)
  • Pediatric clinic services are available in Tower 105 24/7
  • OB/GYN clinic services are available in Tower 107 24/7
  • Limited Medical Clinic Services are being offered on Tower 2 West, Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call (718) 794-5912 for further information regarding Medical Clinic Services.
  • Limited Medical Specialty Services are being offered on Tower 2 East, Monday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please call (718) 794 – 5911 for further information regarding Medical Specialty Services.

Patients already receiving Mental Health Services at Coney Island Hospital are presently being seen in Hammett Building as follows:

  • Chemical Dependency (4th floor in the Hammett) from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Adult and Children Outpatient Services (2nd and 4th floor Hammett) on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday: 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call Mental Health Services at (718) 319-2994.

Rehab Services are being offered on Tower T8E, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (by appointment only).

Further contacts for the various services are:

  • Physical Therapy contact: (718) 616-3922
  • Occupational Therapy contact: (718) 616 – 3961
  • Rehab Consultation contact: (718) 616 – 4052

If you have an urgent need to renew a prescription, please come to the Coney Island Hospital Tower Building, 1st floor with your medication bottles. The phone numbers for prescription refills are (718) 794-6712 and (718) 794-6641.

UPDATE (12/6/2012): Coney Island Hospital has just expanded its offerings at the Urgent Care Center. They write:

A separate radiology location will have the capability to perform portable X-rays and sonograms.   A mobile CT scan has been installed adjacent to the Urgent Care Center. For radiology orders, escorts will transport the patient from their bed to the radiology suite. Results will be promptly read by an on-site radiologist.

The first floor of Coney Island Hospital’s main building at 2601 Ocean Parkway remains a breathtaking reminder of the storm’s damage. Located nearly a mile away from the Sheepshead Bay bulkhead, and a mile-and-a-half from the Atlantic Ocean, a 14-foot storm surge barreled through the facility.

Now, electrical wiring dangles from the exposed ceilings, and walls and floors are ripped apart as contractors rebuild, and prevent further damage from mold and moisture.

But the hospital is now getting back online – at least in part – and administrators express pride in how quickly the staff rallied together to continue providing services to the community.

“It was only a few weeks ago that Superstorm Sandy forced the evacuation of all of our patients here and the temporary closure of the hospital after flood waters inundated the 10-foot-deep basement, washed through the first floor and cut off most of the vital systems needed to operate this facility safely,” said Alan Aviles, president and chief executive officer of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), at a press conference this morning. “But despite the severe damage caused by the flood waters, Coney Island Hospital was able to open its doors just days after the storm to again begin serving New Yorkers most in need of healthcare.”

Keep reading to find out what services are offered when, and to see a video tour of the damage to Coney Island Hospital.

Photo courtesy of MDanalakis via Flickr

Photo: Maria Danalakis

Two weeks after Hurricane Sandy forced the evacuation of Coney Island Hospital, the institution reopened yesterday with limited operations, with full services expected to come back online in the first days of 2013.

The hospital, at 2601 Ocean Parkway, is offering limited outpatient services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Patients should enter through the Tower building on Avenue Z, and can call (718) 616-6360 for more information.

Coney Island Hospital was evacuated the afternoon after Hurricane Sandy made landfall, knocking power out to the building and flooding the complex’s basements, where generators were stored.

Rebooting the emergency room is the Heath and Hospital Corporation’s next priority, which will take several more weeks.

“Full service for [Coney Island and Bellevue] hospitals, including their critical care units, their operating rooms, their in-patient units for Coney Island, we believe we can do that by the first week of January,” said Alan Aviles of the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation (HHC), according to NY1.

Located within the Zone A evacuation area, Coney Island Hospital suffered extreme flooding throughout the complex. Not only will boilers, electrical systems and air conditioning need replacement, but the hospitals also stored backup generators, IT servers and assistance, and emergency room support technologies in basements that became submerged with water.

HHC said they will make changes to the hospital’s setup to better prepare for storms and flooding in the future, including moving backup generators and IT support to higher floors.

FEMA will cover some of the damages, as well as reimburse the city for some of the work done.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has requested $300 million for emergency room repairs resulting from Sandy.

Photo courtesy of MDanalakis via Flickr

Photo courtesy of Maria Danalakis

Authorities evacuated Coney Island Hospital and its emergency room yesterday, transferring patients to facilities in better-faring parts of the city following Hurricane Sandy.

Coney Island Hospital was in a flood zone and has been using generators since the hurricane caused power outages across Southern Brooklyn.

The evacuation began yesterday afternoon, according to a notice being posted on their website at 6:30 p.m. Additionally, the notice states:

Because of the urgent and evolving situation, family members may not be notified of a patient’s new healthcare facility location until after the transfer takes place. In addition, the hospital is experiencing problems with the phone system and is not able to receive calls at this time. Staff are making every effort to communicate with family members as patients are safely placed in the appropriate healthcare facility. Thanks for your patience and please check back for updates.

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