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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 254,000 patient safety events and 56,367 Medicare deaths could have been avoided from 2008-2010

Patient Safety AwardSARASOTA, Fla. (May 22, 2012) – Sarasota Memorial Health Care System received HealthGrades’ “2012 Patient Safety Excellence Award™” today – a designation given to the nation’s top 5% hospitals for patient safety. It is the ninth consecutive year that Sarasota Memorial has received the independent healthcare rating organization’s safety award.

To evaluate patient safety, HeathGrades analyzed millions of hospitalization records from the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) database and used Patient Safety Indicator software from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to calculate event rates for 13 indicators of patient safety for the nation’s hospitals.

The best-performing hospitals – those that ranked in the top 5 percent of this year’s analysis – received this year’s HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award.

“Delivering safe patient care is not a process, procedure or safety list that you check off at the end of each day – it is a mindset and way of caring for patients every minute of every day that works only with the care and commitment of a competent, cohesive team,” said Sarasota Memorial CEO Gwen MacKenzie. “The fact that we’ve received this award nine years in a row is a testament to the ongoing dedication of not only our doctors and caregivers, but our entire staff and the volunteers who help attend to the needs of our patients, or support the caregivers providing that care.”

HealthGrades’ analysis encompassed approximately 40 million hospitalization records (2008-2010) from 5,000 hospitals nationwide that participate in the Medicare program. This year’s study found that Medicare patients at Patient Safety Excellence Award hospitals were almost 48% less likely to experience one of 13 preventable safety events compared to hospitals in the bottom 5% in the nation. Indeed, if all hospitals performed at Sarasota Memorial’s level of distinction, approximately 254,000 patient safety events and 56,367 deaths among Medicare patients could have been avoided, according to the study.

“From improving communication to implementing protocols to make surgery safer, hospitals across the country are working harder to reduce preventable patient safety events. The results of these efforts are clear among this year’s HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award hospitals. Patients of hospitals performing in the top 5% of the nation’s hospitals were almost 48% less likely to experience a patient safety event compared to hospitals ranked in the bottom 5%,” said Kristin Reed, MPH, vice president of hospital quality programs at HealthGrades and author of the study. “Hospitals like Sarasota Memorial are not only setting the bar for high standards of patient safety but also serving as an example for other hospitals.”

The Patient Safety Award is the latest in a series that Sarasota Memorial has received from HealthGrades so far this year. In February, Sarasota Memorial earned the elite “America’s 50 Best Hospitals” designation, placing Sarasota Memorial in the top 1% of hospitals for consistently superior clinical outcomes. Indeed, Sarasota Memorial is one of just five hospitals in the nation to receive the organization’s two top awards six years in a row.

In 2012, Sarasota Memorial also received HealthGrades’ “Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence,” Women’s Health Excellence Award, Maternity Care Excellence Award, Emergency Medicine Excellence award and five-star ratings in 23 specialty areas.

Participation in the HealthGrades studies is not optional - hospitals cannot voluntarily choose to opt in or out of the analysis. Neither can hospitals purchase a ranking.

About HealthGrades’ Patient Safety Study
HealthGrades analyzes the following patient safety events for this study:

• Death in procedures where mortality is usually very low
• Pressure or bed sores acquired in hospital
• Death following a serious complication after surgery
• Foreign object left in body during a procedure
• Collapsed lung due to procedure or surgery in or around chest
• Catheter-related bloodstream infections acquired at hospital
• Hip fracture following surgery
• Hemorrhage or hematoma resulting from procedure or surgery
• Electrolyte and fluid imbalance following surgery
• Respiratory failure following surgery
• Deep blood clots in lungs or legs following surgery
• Sepsis following surgery
• Breakdown of abdominal incision site

More information on HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award and the ratings methodology is available at

About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System
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 800,000 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 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:

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