Words of appreciation outside Peconic Bay Medical Center in April 2020. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Peconic Bay Medical Center has received an ‘A’ rating in patient safety by a nonprofit watchdog organization that grades hospitals based on their patient services.

This is the first time the hospital has received an ‘A’ rating from the organization, the Leapfrog Group, which uses its safety grades to help better inform patients’ decisions on where to seek treatment. The results are based on data collected from patient surveys, according to the group.

PBMC is one of six Northwell Health hospitals on Long Island that received the highest rating, the hospital said in a press release Wednesday.

“Receiving an ‘A’ rating from Leapfrog is a testament to PBMC’s commitment to implementing best practices and continuing to improve everything we do from medical treatment to patient experience,” PBMC executive director Amy Loeb said in the press release. “We are committed to keep building off of this success as we continue to expand and further develop new programs to increase access to the best possible health care services for Eastern Suffolk County residents. I’m so grateful to every member of our team who helped to make this distinction a reality.”

According to Leapfrog’s website, PBMC received better than average marks on 23 of the 32 subjects hospitals are graded on. PBMC’s score matched the best hospital’s score in 10 of those subjects.

The hospital says the rating continues a trend of recent accolades that includes becoming a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 4-star hospital, being named a Center of Excellence in robotic surgery and multiple awards from U.S. News and World Report. 

Although the hospital received an overall A rating, the organization does list PBMC below average in several subjects compared to other hospitals graded. This includes the frequency of clostridium difficile infections, sepsis infections after surgery, the number of deaths from serious treatable complications after surgery, handwashing, communication about medicines, communications with both doctors and nurses, and responsiveness of hospital staff. PBMC’s scores do not correspond to the worst hospital’s score in any of those subjects, and most of PBMC’s below average scores are relatively close to the average scores in their respective subjects.

“I am proud of the efforts of the Peconic Bay Medical Center team and their efforts to provide A- rated care to our community,” Loeb said in an email to RiverheadLOCAL.  “We seek to continuously and steadily improve and examine every opportunity for excellence in patient care, including this data and these ratings,” she said of the below-average ratings.

You can read the full breakdown of the rating on the organization’s website.

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: alek@riverheadlocal.com