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Sarasota Memorial Listed Among America's Safest Hospitals

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Jan/29/2009

Sarasota, FL – For the second year in a row, Sarasota Memorial is listed among “America’s Safest Hospitals” – the only hospital in the Sarasota-Manatee area recognized in the national report published on Forbes.com, the website of the nation's leading business magazine.

Forbes bases its rankings on quality data provided by HealthGrades, an independent hospital rating company that evaluates hospitals nationwide each year and identifies those that best protect patients from complications and mortality. In the study that evaluates "quality and clinical excellence," HealthGrades identified 270 hospitals out of 5,000 that collectively had a 28 percent lower mortality rate and 8 percent lower complication rate than the national average. The list reflects the top 5% of hospitals nationwide.

This year, Forbes singled out the 50 safest large hospitals from the HealthGrades' list. Sarasota Memorial was ranked #19 by bed size.

"What's very impressive is that when you look at statistics at high-performing hospitals," says study co-author Dr. Rick May in the Forbes.com report, it's clear that "they don't get (the HealthGrades distinction) by chance. They do it by being extremely focused."

Access to hospitals with such positive outcomes could be life-saving, the study notes. If all facilities performed at this level, May and his co-author Dr. Samantha Collier said in the Forbes report, 152,600 lives might have been saved and 11,700 hospital complications might have been prevented between 2005 and 2007, the years for which HealthGrades used data.

Judy Milne, executive director of quality and safety at Sarasota Memorial, said it takes personal vigilance every minute, every day, by every employee to ensure safe, high quality care. As part of its continuous quality improvement efforts, Sarasota Memorial encourages all of its staff - from housekeepers and dietitians to doctors, nurses and support staff - to report all potential safety issues and "near miss" events so the hospital can address practices or systems that may allow miscommunication or mistakes to occur.

"It may sound counter-intuitive," Milne said, "but the more safety questions we receive from our staff, the better we feel, because they present opportunities to further safeguard our systems."

For more information, visit www.forbes.com and enter key words: Safest Hospitals in the search box.

Date Published: January 29, 2009

Media Contact: Kim Savage, Senior Communications Editor
Phone: (941) 917-6271

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