SMH Ranks Among America’s 50 Best Heart Hospitals

SMH Ranks Among America’s 50 Best Heart Hospitals

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

SARASOTA – Watson Health® today announced its 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals list, naming the top-performing U.S. hospitals for inpatient cardiovascular services. 

Sarasota Memorial Hospital was the only Suncoast hospital that made the 2021 list, which is based on quality indicators and clinical outcomes for Medicare patients who received heart care in 2018 and 2019.

More than 7,000 lives could be saved and more than 5,000 heart patients could be complication free if all hospitals performed at the level of Sarasota Memorial and the other top 50 award winners, the Watson Health study reported. Compared to similar cardiovascular hospitals, this year's 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals winners demonstrated:

  • Better survival rates
  • Fewer patient complications
  • Fewer healthcare associated infections
  • Lower 30-day mortality and readmission rates
  • Shorter lengths of stay
  • Lower inpatient expenses

While heart disease remains the leading cause of death for all Americans, this year’s Watson Health study emphasized that heart disease has a disproportionate impact on communities of color, rural populations and other underserved groups, and that the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospital winners are setting the standard for high-quality patient care. 


“In this light, cardiovascular care with an emphasis on health equity is essential,” said IBM Watson Health Chief Health Officer Kyu Rhee. “We believe that these top institutions are leading the effort to enhance and evolve the way we treat and prevent this disease.”

Watson Health conducts the annual quantitative research using the latest available Medicare data to identify the nation’s highest-performing hospitals and health systems for:

  • Heart attacks (acute myocardial infarction)
  • Heart bypass surgery (coronary artery bypass graft)
  • Cardiac catheterization procedures (percutaneous coronary intervention) 
  • Heart failure

This is the second top hospital award Watson Health has given to Sarasota Memorial this year and one in a series dating back to 2002. In June, Watson Health named Sarasota Memorial a 100 Top Hospital for overall quality and safety. Hospitals do not apply for the honor, and winners do not pay to market it.  

The release of the 2021 Fortune/IBM Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals list also spotlights hospitals that currently participate in the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines (GWTG) programs, which promote evidence-based guidelines and improved patient care. SMH is one of just 19 hospitals on this year's 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals list to receive the additional recognition by the AHA for top-notch cardiovascular care.

“I could not be more proud of our cardiac team and entire staff,” said Sarasota Memorial Hospital CEO David Verinder. “From physicians and nurses to therapists, technologists and support staff, they work diligently every day to deliver high-quality patient care and continue to serve our community in unprecedented ways during this pandemic.” 

Watson Health based its analysis on publicly available data from nearly 1,000 acute care, non-federal U.S. hospitals that treat a broad spectrum of cardiology patients. For more information on the Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals, click here to visit its website.

About Sarasota Memorial
Sarasota Memorial is a regional medical center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 1 million patient visits a year. Sarasota Memorial’s 839-bed acute care hospital has been recognized repeatedly as one of the nation’s 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 and rehabilitation.