Sarasota Memorial Hospital named among 100 Top Hospitals in the United States

IBM Watson Health reviewed 3,134 facilities

Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s main campus is near downtown Sarasota. Image courtesy Sarasota Memorial Hospital

On June 30, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System was honored as one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by IBM Watson Health, the hospital reported.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) was chosen from among 3,134 hospitals across the country for out-performing peer hospitals “on all performance benchmarks in the study,” a news release says, including inpatient mortality and complications, health care-associated infections, readmission rates, length of stay, costs of care and patient satisfaction.

“Hospitals, health systems and the dedicated clinicians and staff who work at these organizations have emerged as true heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic and we are grateful to be able to recognize these extraordinary leaders at this time,” said Kyu Rhee, M.D., M.P.P., vice president and chief health officer of IBM Watson Health, in the release. “From small community hospitals to major teaching hospitals, the organizations on this list demonstrate a relentless commitment to high-value, patient-centered care and innovation,” Rhee added in the release. “It is clear that the COVID-19 crisis will be a catalyst for reinvention, and we believe these top performing hospitals are positioned to emerge stronger and smarter out of this crisis.”

Compared to similar hospitals, the 100 Top Hospitals had better survival rates, fewer patient complications, fewer health care-associated infections and lower 30-day mortality and readmission rates, the release notes. “They also had shorter lengths of stay, lower inpatient expenses and higher ratings from patients.”

According to this year’s study results, the following would have result if all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care provided by the 100 Top facilities:

  • 106,000 additional lives could be saved in hospitals.
  • 49,000 additional patients could be complication-free.
  • The typical patient could be released from the hospital at least a half-day sooner.
  • More than $8.3 billion in inpatient costs could be saved.

This is the fifth time Sarasota Memorial has been named among the 100 Top Hospitals, the release points out. “Watson Health commended top performers that have appeared on the 100 Top Hospital list multiple times, noting in a qualitative study that the organizations share key characteristics, including a mature culture with commitment to continuity in executive leadership, nursing excellence, leaders deeply connected to the hospital and their community, and hospital boards committed to quality and safety.”

Sarasota Memorial CEO David Verinder credits the achievement to the health system’s mission-driven team and the unwavering vision of its unpaid, publicly elected Sarasota County Public Hospital Board, the release says.

“This award is a reflection of our team’s dedication and longstanding public mission,” Verinder said. “Sarasota Memorial has served this community for 95 years, and it is that dedication and sense of community ownership and responsibility that drives everything we do.”

The 100 Top Hospitals study has been conducted annually since 1993. More information on this study and other 100 Top Hospitals research is available at