Friday, February 5, 2010

Uptown's Weiss Hospital Is Chicago's Worst

This week, Consumer Reports Health posted the Leapfrog Group findings on hospital ICU infection rates. Per Consumer Reports, “Hospitals in the Chicago area vary dramatically in terms of how well their intensive care units (ICUs) prevent central-line bloodstream infections, a cause of death, disability, and expense in our nations' hospitals that is largely preventable.” Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center director John Santa stated, "Infection rates can vary widely from hospital to hospital and even within the same hospital chain or system. Providing patients with infection rate information enables them to identify which hospitals are making patient safety a priority and which ones are not."

Consumer Reports Health highlighted five Chicago hospitals that report infection rates that are more than twice the national average. Topping the “worst hospitals” list was Uptown’s Louis A. Weiss memorial Hospital, which has an ICU infection rate that is a whopping 421 percent worse than the national average.

To read ABC 7’s news story about the findings click here.


  1. Isn't/wasn't Weiss a subsidiary of the University of Chicago Hospitals, among the best in the state/country? What's the problem with U of C management, that they don't care about what goes on in their satellite facilities?

    Couldn't upload the ABC story on my did the Methodist Hospital on Paulina St. do?

  2. Weiss spokeswoman Catherine Gianaro said the hospital has taken steps to reduce its "problematic" infection rates. But she also called the Consumer Reports analysis "misleading," saying it doesn't account for the high number of chronically ill patients at Weiss who might need multiple catheters, increasing the risk of infections.

    ... ?!


  3. At one point it was a U of C affiliate hospital, just as Masonic was a Rush affiliate.

    The business of hospitals has changed significantly, and if I had to guess, and this is only a guess, places like Thorek, Weiss etc do a lot of charity and Medicaid/Medicare, which is a HUGE GIANT financial drain on already non-profit hospitals, and U of C is trying to balance their missions of service, teaching, research and fiscal responsibility.

    Freestanding, unaffiliated hospitals (Weiss, Thorek, Methodist, Swedish) either get bigger (Mercy) or die (Ravenswood, Reese, Columbus, Grant)

  4. I don't buy Weiss spokeswoman Catherine Gianaro's explanation as I doubt that in all of Chicago that Weiss is the only hospital that has a high number of chronically ill patients that need multiple catheters. I suspect Cook County Hospital has a few chronically ill patients too and they don't have an infection rate 400+% more than average. And even if Weiss is unique, it should have taken precautions to protect other patients from the spread of infection long before the state mandated reporting of infection rates.

    It takes a whole lot of not caring to have the very worst infection rate in the city.

  5. Weiss is in a 80/20% ownership arrangement with Vanguard (for-profit Nashville TN based) and UofC. UofC maintains clinical and educational programs; Vanguard does admin. UofC has long wanted to tap into a wealthier, insured patient base - and now has the North Shore University system (formerly Evanston Northwestern). After this embarrassment, they may want to change this relationship.

  6. Hugh's comment was on the wrong post and it has been moved to the Maryville post.

  7. It has always irked me to see our local gangbangers, police, and firemen get hauled to one of the best hospitals in the area, Illinois Masonic in Lakeview, while those of us who call 911 must, by city rule, be transported to the nearest hospital no matter how underperforming that hospital is. This is even the case in Uptown where St Joseph's or Thorek (marginally better) are only a few blocks further away.

    After one is taken by ambulance to a hospital Medicare and private insurance will not pay to have the patient transferred to a better hospital unless no treatment for that condition is available at the first hospital. My elderly neighbors tell me that they have to pay $300-$600 out-of-pocket to get moved. They also tell me the best way to avoid this mess is to call a private ambulance company (the favor MedEx, which has ambulances staged in this area waiting for calls.)

    Nevertheless, one would think that the City of Chicago could implement some quality standards that would allow patients to by-pass bad hospitals, such as Weiss. Otherwise the city is creating a monopoly system that routes all 911 patients in a geographic area to a hospital and the hospital has little incentive to improve.

  8. I went to Weiss Hospital's Emergency Room at 11:00pm last Wednesday. NO ONE WAS THERE. The security guards were confused and the single registration employee there was eating a burger and said he is not responsible for patient care. After waiting an hour, along with 4-5 other sick people waiting for help - we had to leave. I have never seen anything like this. How is there NO ONE at the emergency room?

  9. Believe it. Weiss is the worst. My mother went into the emergency room on Sept 1,2010 after she fell in her apartment. The ER doctor did not order x-rays for her ribs. She was later admitted on Sept.15,2010 under the advice of her home health care nurse at that point x-rays were ordered by a different doctor and she was diagnosed with 8 EIGHT displaced fractured ribs a virtually rarely seen condition. She was admitted and her doctor Dr. Manta on advice of a hack psychiatrist Dr.Sandu they signed papers for an involuntary commitment to a locked ward. When Dr. Raja Gill found out about this horror he read both doctors the riot act. I understand that I may or may not have the makings of a lawsuit.
    If anyone knows the answer to this please comment. In the meantime stay away from this H hole