Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota ranked among America’s 50 Top Heart Hospitals

SMH only hospital in Southwest Florida to be recognized

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Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota (SMH-Sarasota) has been named among the nation’s 50 top-performing heart hospitals by Fortune and IBM Watson Health, the hospital announced on Nov. 16.

SMH-Sarasota is the only hospital in Southwest Florida “recognized on the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals list this year,” a news release notes. “The annual study identifies the 50 highest performing hospitals in the United States that treat a broad spectrum of cardiology patients, and specifically deliver excellent care to patients treated for heart attacks, heart failure and those undergoing heart bypass surgery and cardiac catheterization procedures,” the release explains.

“Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the hospitals recognized on the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals list are providing quality care in one of the most critical areas,” said Ekta Punwani, IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals program leader, in the release. “Hospitals are constantly working to improve clinical and operational performance, and the exceptional organizations on this list demonstrate the standard for top-performing cardiac care. Their benchmarks serve as a real-world checkpoint for cardiovascular care across the U.S.”

“If all U.S. hospitals’ cardiovascular programs performed at the level of SMH and the study’s other top performers,” the release notes, “some 6,400 additional lives and roughly $1.4 billion could be saved, and 5,000 additional bypass and angioplasty patients could be complication-free, according to the study.”

“I couldn’t be prouder of our entire team,” said Sarasota Memorial Health Care System Chief Medical Officer James Fiorica, MD, in the release. “From our physicians and nurses to the many therapists, technologists and staff who collaborate and support patient care, their diligence and dedication saves lives every day.”

The release further points out, “The study is far more than a list of high-performing organizations, study authors noted. It is a benchmarking study that other hospitals can use to improve clinical outcomes.”

This is the list on which Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota was included. Image courtesy Fortune/IBM Watson Health

“Since our cardiovascular winners have achieved an outstanding balance of clinical and operational excellence in a complex and changing landscape, we believe their success can help provide a clear and bright path for others to follow,” the study noted. “Repeatedly, we see that these hospitals lead the cardiovascular healthcare industry, often inspiring the clinicians and staff within their own walls and systems as well as their peers and competitors, to better understand data and benchmarks, and close performance gaps.”

Compared to similar cardiovascular hospitals that did not make this year’s list, the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals demonstrated the following, the release said:

  • Significantly higher inpatient survival.
  • Fewer patients with complications.
  • Higher 30-day survival rates for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure (HF) and coronary arterybypass grafting (CABG) patients.
  • Lower readmission rates for AMI, HF and CABG patients.
  • Shorter lengths of stay and lower total costs per patient case
  • Better patient experience scores.

“IBM Watson Health based its analysis on publicly available data from nearly 1,000 acute care, non-federal U.S. hospitals, and care they provided to Medicare patients from 2016 through 2020,” the release explains. The lists of the highest performing hospitals were announced in Fortune and are available here: