HCA facilities lead top hospital list in South Florida


The nation’s hospital accreditation group reports that 11 hospitals in Miami-Dade and Broward received top scores for 2011 performance.

Five hospitals in the HCA chain are among 11 in South Florida that received top scores from the Joint Commission, the nonprofit group that accredits the nation’s hospitals.

The Memorial Healthcare System in South Broward had three on the list. Baptist Health South Florida had two in a report scheduled to be released Wednesday.

The 11 hospitals all received top scores in four key quality treatment measures for 2011: for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care, as measured by data collected by the Joint Commission.

Aventura, Kendall Regional, Westside Regional in Plantation, Plantation General and University in Tamarac were the HCA facilities that scored at the top. The other major hospital chain, Tenet Healthcare, had one top-ranked facility: Coral Gables Hospital.

Memorial Miramar, Pembroke and West hospitals made the list, as did Baptist facilities Doctors and Homestead hospitals.

Hospital scores are calculated on complex measurements of evidence-based best practices. For heart attacks, for example, the measures include aspirin at arrival, fibrinolytic medications to break down blood clots within 30 minutes of arrival, angioplasty to open arteries within 90 minutes, plus providing certain medications at discharge. To be a top performer, hospitals had to follow best practices at least 95 percent of the time.

For the past decade, the Joint Commission and Medicare have been emphasizing the need for hospitals to follow best practices and have been increasingly aggressive in getting results online for patients to see.

The full 2012 Joint Commission’s Annual Report on Quality and Safety was scheduled to be posted early Wednesday at Medicare data is available at

The report shows marked improvement in hospital performance. The composite score of hospitals in 2011 was 96.6 percent based on 16.1 million opportunities to perform care — up from 81.8 percent in 2002.

“More improvement is needed,” the report stated, pointing to one result showing that the nation’s hospitals properly used fibrinolytic therapy only 60.2 percent of the time for eligible heart attack patients.

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