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Hospitals Fall Flat on Safety Ratings, Report Finds

Pixland/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- How do most hospitals rank in terms of safety?  Not that high, according to a new report from Consumer Reports.

The magazine finds that the average safety score at hospitals is 49 on a 100-point scale. The ratings are based on readmissions, complications, communication, the overuse of CT scans and infections.

Dr. John Santa of Consumer Reports says the problem is acute at teaching hospitals, especially in New York City.

"There are some individual hospitals that have improved a bit but not enough that we can report to New Yorkers.  New York City hospitals overall are trailing the pack by a significant margin," he says.

But there are some exceptions, as Santa points out. "The Mayo Clinic has three of the top six teaching hospitals in terms of safety in the country and interestingly enough they're in three different states," he says.

Santa advises patients to "not be in the passive mode.  You should be in the active mode.  We urge any patient in the hospital to have a family member or friend with them at all times."

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ABC News Radio