Press-Republican

Local News

September 29, 2013

CVPH on Niagara Health watch list

PLATTSBURGH — CVPH Medical Center has been placed on a “watch list” after receiving below-average grades in some patient-care categories.

Officials at the hospital say they were aware long ago of the issues of concern named in a recently released Niagara Health Quality Coalition report. And they say they have taken steps to correct the less-than-favorable areas.

The coalition released its 10th-annual New York State Hospital Report Card earlier this summer, focusing on such issues as mortality, error and surgical-infection rates; pain management; and overall patient satisfaction.

CVPH scored average in most areas when compared to other hospitals across the state.

“Average is at the standard of care,” Bruce Boissonnault, chief executive officer for Niagara, said, “which in New York state is pretty good.”

‘OLD DATA’

Both Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone and Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake scored average on almost all areas measured.

“When we receive data of this type (as published in the Report Card), there are no big surprises for us,” said Wouter Rietsema, vice president and chief quality and information officer at CVPH.

“We already know about these areas where we’ve had a problem, and we’ve already taken steps to address those problems.

“This data is old,” he said of the 2011 statistics used in compiling this year’s Report Card. “If we relied on this data (for correcting problems), we’d be way behind the eight ball.”

‘ONGOING PROCESS’

For instance, one area where the hospital received a below-average grade was in the death rate for patients following a stroke.

The North Country did not have a full-time neurologist until Dr. Boris Chulpayev came on board earlier this summer, Rietsema explained, but CVPH had taken steps to address the mortality rate by initiating a telemedicine program in the Emergency Department to effectively connect neurologists with stroke patients.

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