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Sarasota Memorial Ranks Among Nation’s Top 5% of Hospitals for Women’s Health and Maternity Care – 10 years in a row

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SARASOTA, Fla. (June 19, 2012) – Sarasota Memorial Hospital ranks among the top 5% in the nation for excellence in women’s health and maternity care, according to a new report released today by HealthGrades, the leading provider of information to help consumers make an informed decision about a physician or hospital.

Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital in the region to receive both the Maternity Care and Women’s Health Excellence Awards since their inception – and the only one to rank in the top 5% in the country in both areas 10 years in a row.

HealthGrades MaternityParticipation in the study was not voluntary; all 4,783 of the nation’s acute care hospitals were evaluated by HealthGrades as part of its 2012 Trends in Women’s Health in American Hospitals report.

In its Women’s Health study, HealthGrades evaluated 16 women’s medicine, cardiovascular, and bone and joint health treatments and procedures over the years 2008, 2009 and 2010 using data from the federal Medicare program. Sarasota Memorial and the 175 other recipients of the HealthGrades Women’s Health Excellence Award had, on average, women’s mortality rates that were 42 percent lower than the poorest performers across nine diagnoses and procedures, and complication rates were, on average, 14 percent lower than the poorest performing hospitals across seven procedures.

To evaluate maternity care, the 224 hospitals that received the 5-Star rating were evaluated on vaginal delivery maternal complications for single live deliveries; c-section delivery maternal complication rates for single live deliveries; overall volume and volume of low birth weight deliveries; and risk-adjusted infant mortality rates for single live deliveries. The study found that women who give birth at 5-Star rated hospitals experience 62 percent fewer complications than lower-performing hospitals.

“In our study, HealthGrades noted the rate of surgical intervention for women suffering a heart attack has increased over the years. This is good news, especially for patients who choose care at hospitals that are top performers in women’s healthcare,” said Divya Cantor, MD, MBA, HealthGrades Senior Physician Consultant and author of the study. “Our goal is to provide current, independent data on clinical outcomes to help prospective patients make informed decisions about their providers while also identifying hospitals that are setting national benchmarks to which other hospitals can aspire.”

If all of the nation’s hospitals had patient outcomes among women that at the level of those receiving the HealthGrades award, 39,450 women could have potentially survived their hospitalization and 19,062 women could have potentially avoided a major in-hospital complication.

The HealthGrades study examined hospitalization records from the MedPAR database in all 50 states, for the years 2008 through 2010. The following procedures and treatments were analyzed: heart attack, congestive heart failure, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, coronary bypass surgery, peripheral vascular bypass, coronary interventional procedures, resection/replacement of abdominal aorta, carotid surgery, and valve replacement; total knee and total hip replacement surgeries, spinal surgeries, and hip fracture repair.

To be eligible for the HealthGrades award, hospitals must have met volume requirements in stroke and either coronary bypass or valve replacements; met the volume requirements in at least six additional cohorts of the 16 evaluated; and have transferred out less than 10 percent of stroke patients. Volume requirements are a minimum of 30 female discharges over the three years, with at least five in the most recent year for the cohort.

The Women’s Health and Maternity Care Excellence Awards are 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,” Emergency Medicine Excellence award, with five-star ratings in 23 specialty areas.

The HealthGrades 2012 Trends in Women’s Health in American Hospitals report, including the methodology, and other reports, can be found at

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 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:

Media contact: Ellen Simon, 941.917.1499

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