The Boston vs. New York rivalry isn’t just the Red Sox vs. the Yankees. It’s which city, each known for its prestigious hospitals, has better medical care. Well, when it comes to preventing hospital-acquired infections at least, Boston wins, according to our updated hospital Ratings.
For this comparison, we looked at hospitals that are members of the Council of Teaching Hospitals (excluding Veteran Administration hospitals) that are in either the Boston hospital-referral region (Boston, Cambridge, and a few neighboring towns); or in the three New York City hospital-referral regions (the five boroughs plus certain neighboring suburbs). We looked at the two most serious kinds of infections: bloodstream infections in intensive-care units that are linked to central-line catheters; and surgical-site infections.
For bloodstream infections, 54 percent of New York teaching hospitals (15 of 28) reported more than the national average, earning our worse-than-average score, while only 18 percent of Boston teaching hospitals (two of 11) scored that low. For surgical-site infections, 37 percent of New York teaching hospitals (10 of 27) scored worse than average, compared with just 12.5 percent (one of eight) for Boston.
One Boston teaching hospital—Faulkner Hospital—reported zero bloodstream and zero surgical-site infections. No New York City hospital reported zero bloodstream infections, and only one—Bronx-Lebanon Hospital—reported no surgical-site infections.
Of course, this provides only a quick snapshot of how hospitals in the two cities performed. For more complete box scores on New York and Boston hospitals, as well as on more than a thousand other hospitals around the country, see our hospital Ratings. And regardless of where you go, see our tips for staying safe in the hospital.
—John Santa M.D.