Sarasota Memorial continues straight A safety streak with Leapfrog Group

Facility among 3,000 general hospitals whose data was analyzed

David Verinder is CEO of the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System. Contributed image

Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) received top marks in the fall 2023 Hospital Safety Report Cards released by the Leapfrog Group on Nov. 6, the health care system announced.

Leapfrog assigned letter grades to nearly 3,000 general hospitals on the basis of “how well they prevent medical errors, accidents and infections,” a news release explains. “The latest grades show hospitals reducing health care-acquired infections (HAIs) post-pandemic after significant increases in infection rates during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the release points out.

SMH-Sarasota continued the straight A streak it began 2016, the release adds; it “has been among a select group of hospitals that maintained its strong safety record during the pandemic years and its challenging aftermath.”

“Amidst all the difficulties and disruptions from the pandemic, national labor shortages and devastating impacts of Hurricane Ian, SMH physicians and staff have demonstrated their resourcefulness, resiliency and enduring commitment to our community,” said Sarasota Memorial Health Care System CEO David Verinder in the release.

The new grades are the first to reflect hospital performance following the pandemic, the release notes. This cycle, nearly 30% of hospitals earned an A, 24% earned a B, 39% earned a C, 7% earned a D and less than 1% earned an F, the release points out.

“Now that we have pre- and post-pandemic data for patient safety measures, we are encouraged by the improvement in infections and applaud hospitals for reversing the disturbing infection spike we saw during the pandemic,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, in the release.

“Sarasota Memorial’s ranking comes on top of a growing list of national accolades,” the release adds, “including multiple ‘Best Hospital’ rankings and ratings for 2023-2024 from U.S. News & World Report, Magnet designation for 20 consecutive years, and repeated recognition on Newsweek’s list of the ‘World’s Best Hospitals.’ SMH-Sarasota also is the only hospital in Florida to consistently earn the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ highest 5-star quality award since the federal government launched the rating system in 2016, the release points out.

“SMH-Venice has not been open long enough to be graded in this cycle of report cards,” the release explains.

“The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on hospital prevention of medical errors and harms to patients,” the release adds. “The Leapfrog grading system is fully transparent, free to the public and updated biannually to help patients choose the safest hospitals for their care. To view the Fall 2023 result, visit