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

Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead received an “A” rating for hospital safety from The Leapfrog Group, according to the hospital safety rating group’s fall 2023 report.

PBMC was one of only seven hospitals on Long Island to receive an “A” rating, and the only hospital in eastern Suffolk County. Stony Brook Southampton Hospital received a “B” rating and Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport received a “C” rating.

The Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit watchdog organization, uses its safety grades to help better inform patients’ decisions on where to seek treatment. The results are based on safety data reported by hospitals, which are compared to standards prepared by national healthcare experts, according to the group.

“This ‘A’ safety rating signifies PBMC’s dedication to maintaining the highest standards of safety for its patients and for communities throughout Eastern Suffolk County,” PBMC executive director Amy Loeb said in a press release announcing the rating. “This achievement reflects our unwavering commitment to providing exceptional health care services and ensuring the safety of our patients. I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who helped to make this a reality, which enhances our success as we embark on an expansion initiative to further advance health care in this region.”

Leapfrog rates hospitals based on multiple criteria across five categories. The hospital received an above average score in the “infections” category; the best possible score in the “problems with surgery” category; an above average score in the “safety problems” category; a slightly below average score in the “practices to prevent errors” category; and a below average score in the “doctors, nurses and hospital staff” category.

Leapfrog updates its hospital safety grades twice per year. PBMC received an “A” rating from Leapfrog in the Spring. In 2022, 2021 and 2020 the hospital received “B” and “C” ratings.In June, the hospital unveiled plans to expand its facilities and services, including an expanded emergency department, increased bed capacity, and a new private Center for Women and Infants. The expansion will cost a total of $92 million, with 50 million being raised through a fundraising campaign by the hospital’s foundation, hospital officials said.

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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