SMH Receives an ‘A’ for Hospital Safety

SMH Receives an ‘A’ for Hospital Safety

Thursday, November 08, 2018

SARASOTA (Nov. 8, 2018) – Hospital safety report cards were released today, and Sarasota Memorial Hospital earned its fifth consecutive “A” for excellence in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors.

Leapfrog Report CardThe Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Grades, which are calculated by top patient safety experts twice each year, allow patients to quickly assess the safety of their local hospital and choose the safest hospital to seek care.  

In its Fall 2018 survey, an expert panel evaluated more than 2,600 general acute-care hospitals in the United States. Only 855 – or 32 percent – earned an “A” for demonstrating an excellent record in patient safety. The independent nonprofit grading system assigns grades A, B, C, D or F, based on hospital performance in preventing medical errors, infections and other injuries among patients. Of the remaining hospitals, 24 percent earned a “B,” 37 percent a “C,” 6 percent a “D” and just under 1 percent an “F.”

“Being recognized with successive A’s speaks to the diligence of our entire team to put safety first as we care for our patients,” Chief Medical Officer James Fiorica, MD said. “As the region’s only public hospital, we are proud to set the benchmark for quality care in our community.”  

The goal of Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grade is to reduce the approximately 440,000 yearly deaths in the United States from hospital errors and injuries by publicly recognizing safety and exposing harm. 

“Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Grades recognize hospitals like Sarasota Memorial that focus on advancing patient safety. This ranking provides an important resource for patients, and a benchmark for hospitals, to determine how care at one hospital compares to others in a region,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “Hospitals that earn an A Hospital Safety Grade deserve to be recognized for their efforts in preventing medical harm and errors.”

The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses national performance measures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey and Health Information Technology Supplement. The safety grades, given to U.S. hospitals in the spring and fall of each year, are based on 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data. Details of the results are posted online and available to the public for free at

About Sarasota Memorial 
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 900,000 patient visits each year. Its flagship 839-bed, acute-care hospital has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s largest and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services – from urgent care, trauma and emergency services to laboratory and diagnostic imaging, home health, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. SMH is the only hospital in Florida to have consistently earned the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ highest five-star quality award since the rating system launched in 2016. 

About The Leapfrog Group 
Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey collects and transparently reports hospital performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, Leapfrog’s other main initiative, assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents and infections.