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Sarasota Memorial Named One of HealthGrades’ Elite “America’s 50 Best Hospitals”

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america's 50 best hospitals

HealthGrades study: If all U.S. hospitals had performed at the level of Sarasota Memorial, more than a half million Medicare deaths could have been prevented between 1999 and 2009

SARASOTA, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2011) – Just one month after being named among the nation’s top 5% of hospitals, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System’s superior clinical outcomes resulted in HealthGrades’ highest ranking for 2011 – the elite “America’s 50 Best Hospitals.™”

“America’s 50 Best Hospitals” rank among the top 1% of the nation’s 5,000-plus hospitals for consistent clinical excellence in HealthGrades annual studies. To be recognized with this distinction, hospitals must have had risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates in the top 5% in the nation for the most consecutive years.

Indeed, according to the HealthGrades study, if all U.S. hospitals had performed at the level of Sarasota Memorial, more than a half million Medicare deaths could have been prevented between 1999 and 2009. Based on an analysis of more than 140 million Medicare patient records, the study found that on average, patients treated at America’s 50 Best Hospitals had a nearly 30% lower risk of death and 3.45% lower rate of complications.

“As our nation searches for a solution to providing American’s with access to high quality health care at an affordable price, Sarasota Memorial is setting the standard, demonstrating that consistent, sustainable clinical excellence is achievable,” said Dr. Rick May, HealthGrades vice president of clinical quality services and co-author of the report.

Sarasota Memorial has been ranked among America’s 50 Best Hospitals each year since its inception five years ago. It is the only hospital in the Suncoast region (Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties) ever to make the list. Unlike other hospital quality studies, HealthGrades evaluates hospitals solely on patients’ clinical outcomes: risk-adjusted mortality and in-hospital complications. Hospitals cannot opt out of the study, pay for their rankings or achieve extra points for reputation.

“Quality is not a designation or destination – it’s a way of thinking and working that requires dedication and diligence by every member of our health care team, every day, to continue providing the safest, best care to patients,” said Sarasota Memorial CEO Gwen MacKenzie. “We’re proud to be ranked among the nation’s 50 best hospitals, but the most important measures of our success come from our patients -- it’s their outcomes, experiences and satisfaction that drive our quality of care.”

Last month, Sarasota Memorial earned HealthGrades’ Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence™ for the ninth year in a row. Throughout the years, Sarasota Memorial has consistently achieved multiple HealthGrades quality designations. Other quality designations in 2010 and so far in 2011 include:

  • America’s 50 Best Hospitals recognizing the top 1% of all hospitals in the nation for overall clinical excellence for five years in a row, 2007-2011
  • Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence recognizing top 5% of all hospitals in the nation for clinical excellence for nine years in a row, 2003-2011
  • Patient Safety Excellence Award™– six years in a row, 2004-2010 (2011 not yet announced)
  • Excellence in Cardiac Care & Coronary Intervention – 2010
  • Excellence in Gastrointestinal Care & Gastrointestinal Surgery–2010 & 2011
  • Excellence in Maternity Care – 2010 & 2011
  • Excellence in Spine Surgery – 2010
  • Excellence in Pulmonary Care – 2010 & 2011
  • Excellence in Critical Care – 2010 & 2011
  • Excellence in Women’s Health Excellence – 2010 & 2011

HealthGrades’ Hospital Ratings
As part of this study, HealthGrades rates each of the nation’s 5,000 nonfederal hospitals in 26 procedures and diagnoses, allowing individuals to compare their local hospitals online at HealthGrades’ hospital ratings are independently created; no hospital can opt-in or opt-out of being rated, and no hospital pays to be rated. Mortality and complication rates are risk adjusted, which takes into account differing levels of severity of patient illness at different hospitals and allows for hospitals to be compared equally.

About Sarasota Memorial:
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of inpatient, outpatient and extended care services, with more than 700,000 patient visits a year. Sarasota Memorial’s 806-bed acute care hospital has been recognized repeatedly as one of the nation’s largest, safest and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services– from urgent care walk-in clinics and physician groups, laboratory and diagnostic imaging centers, to home health and skilled nursing & rehabilitation. For information, visit:

About HealthGrades
HealthGrades is the leading independent health care ratings organization, providing quality ratings, profiles and cost information on the nation's hospitals, physicians, and nursing homes. Millions of patients and many of the nation’s largest employers, health plans and hospitals rely on HealthGrades’ quality ratings, advisory services and decision-support resources. The HealthGrades network of web sites is a top-ten health property according to comScore and is the Internet's leading destination for patients choosing providers. For more information, visit:

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