Miami-Dade County

Fifteen South Florida hospitals graded ‘A’ for patient safety

A medical assistant takes a patient's temperature at a clinic in Silver Spring, Maryland.
A medical assistant takes a patient's temperature at a clinic in Silver Spring, Maryland. Bloomberg

In a hospital safety report card by a national healthcare watchdog group, Baptist Health South Florida and Memorial Healthcare systems received A ratings while the University of Miami Hospital had low marks.

According to spring 2015 ratings from The Leapfrog Group, 15 hospitals in Miami-Dade and Broward counties scored an A in the biannual rating, eight in the Baptist and Memorial systems. Thirteen scored a B and five — three in the Jackson Health system — scored a C. Only one, the University of Miami Hospital, scored a D.

The report card analyzes 28 areas of patient safety, including infection rates, staff efficiency, safety issues during surgery, such as blood clots, and standard safety procedures, such as hand washing. Leapfrog has been scoring hospitals since 2012, primarily based on data collected and publicly reported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and through its own Leapfrog Hospital Survey.

“Now that we’ve been collecting national hospital data over several years, we can examine not only how safe a hospital is now, but how consistently it maintains that patient safety focus over time,” said Leah Binder, CEO and president of Leapfrog. “With 40 percent of hospitals receiving a C, D or F grade, there is absolutely room for improvement.”

This is the first year Leapfrog is providing former ratings with its latest score card so that consumers can see how a hospital has performed over time.

The University of Miami Hospital has received D and C grades since 2012. This year, it earned a D overall, but rated highly in 13 of the 28 categories. UM Hospital declined to comment.

Memorial Healthcare system highly rated in South Florida, with A for four of its hospitals and a B for its Pembroke Pines facility. Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Regional South and Memorial Regional Miramar have received A ratings since the inception of the scoring system.

Stanley Marks, senior vice president and chief medical officer of the Memorial Healthcare System, said the hospitals’ high scores can be attributed to an increased focus to reduce infection and readmission rates while maintaining excellent patient care.

“That whole notion of patient- and family-centered care is something we take very seriously. It’s not just a tag line,” Marks said. “Even when we have four A’s, we are going to continue to strive to improve.”

Baptist Health South Florida Doctors Hospital, Baptist Hospital of Miami and Baptist Health South Florida Homestead Hospital also scored A ratings since 2012. Also receiving an A this year: Cleveland Clinic, Mercy Hospital and Larkin Community Hospital. Mount Sinai and three Broward Health hospitals scored B’s. Three Jackson hospitals — Jackson Memorial Hospital, Jackson North Medical Center and Jackson South Community Hospital — earned C’s.

Nationwide, 782 hospitals earned an A, 719 earned a B, 859 earned a C, 143 earned a D and 20 earned an F. About 47 percent of hospitals in Florida scored an A, making it the fourth best in patient safety among the 47 states surveyed.

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This story was produced in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation