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Sarasota Memorial Named Among Top 5% for Patient Safety

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HealthGrades study: If all U.S. hospitals had performed at the level of Sarasota Memorial, about 174,358 patient safety events and 20,688 Medicare deaths could have been avoided from 2007-2009

SARASOTA, Fla. (March 9, 2011) – At Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, the power of three is in full force.

50 best badgeToday, Sarasota Memorial received HealthGrades "2011 Patient Safety Excellence Award™," a designation given to the nation's top 5% hospitals for patient safety. The award is the third that Sarasota Memorial has received in as many months. In January, it received HealthGrades' "Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence," and in February its elite "America's 50 Best Hospitals" designation, placing Sarasota Memorial in the top 1% of hospitals for consistently superior clinical outcomes.

The latest award elevates Sarasota Memorial to a category practically by itself. Of the nation's 5,000 hospitals, Sarasota Memorial is one of only five to earn HealthGrades' highest awards for clinical excellence and patient safety five years in a row. "Receiving such prominent awards is indeed an honor – we are proud to set the benchmark for quality and safety in hospitals, locally and nationally, public and private," said Sarasota Memorial CEO Gwen MacKenzie. "It is our privilege to serve as Sarasota County's public hospital – providing the best, safest health care for our friends, family and neighbors is our true reward."

In the patient safety study released today by HealthGrades, the nation's most trusted source of health care provider information, Sarasota Memorial is one of only 268 hospitals in the country to receive the patient safety designation. The study found that Medicare patients at Patient Safety Excellence Award hospitals were 46.26% clinical excellenceless likely to experience a patient safety event during the time period studied. In addition, if all hospitals performed at this level of distinction as Sarasota Memorial, approximately 174,358 patient safety events and 20,688 Medicare deaths could have been avoided while saving the federal government approximately $1.8 billion in excess healthcare costs from 2007-2009.

The eighth annual HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals study analyzed nearly 40 million hospitalization records from approximately 5,000 hospitals nationwide that participate in the Medicare program. Participation in the HealthGrades study is not voluntary, and hospitals cannot choose to opt out of the analysis. Neither can hospitals purchase a ranking.

Last month, HealthGrades named Sarasota Memorial one of its elite "America's 50 Best Hospitals," ranking it among the top 1% of the nation's 5,000-plus hospitals for consistent clinical excellence in HealthGrades annual studies.

"We've seen great advances in medical care in the last few decades, but along with these miraculous advances come greater and greater risks. Hospitals like Sarasota Memorial have shown definitively that it is possible to provide the best in medical care while still focusing on the safety of the patient," said Rick May, MD, patient safetyvice president of Clinical Quality Improvement at HealthGrades and co-author of the study.

Following are a list of quality designations achieved in 2010 and so far in 2011:

  • Patient Safety Excellence Award™– top 5% for excellence in patient safety eight years in a row, 2004-11
  • 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, 2007-11 (only hospital in the Suncoast region – Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties – ever to make list)
  • 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
  • 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' Patient Safety Study In the HealthGrades patient safety study, the following safety indicators were studied:
  • Foreign body left in after procedure
  • Death in low mortality Diagnostic Related Groupings (DRGs)
  • Pressure ulcers (bed sores)
  • Death among surgical inpatients with serious treatable complications
  • Iatrogenic pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
  • Catheter-related bloodstream infections
  • Post-operative hip fracture, hemorrhage or hematoma, physiologic and metabolic derangements, respiratory failure, pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis, sepsis and abdominal wound dehiscence

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. Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital in the Suncoast region (Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte and DeSoto counties) ever to make HealthGrades’ 50 best list. 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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