SMH continues straight A safety streak in latest set of Leapfrog Group report cards

Sarasota hospital also earns highest quality award from U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

“Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) continues to lead the region in quality and safety, earning a 5-star rating for overall quality from the federal government in April” and an A for patient safety in The Leapfrog Group’s hospital report cards released this week, the health care system has announced.

“SMH-Sarasota is the only hospital in Florida” to repeatedly earn the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ highest, 5-star quality award since the federal government launched the rating system in 2016, a news release points out.

The overall rating system, which awards from 1 to 5 stars, “assesses hospital performance on a variety of quality measures” to create a single rating, the release explains. “SMH-Sarasota is part of a prestigious list of hospitals to earn a 5-star rating,” the release adds. Only about 8% of the 5,000-plus hospitals reviewed across the nation received 5 stars in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) ratings in this year’s assessment, the release notes.

In a separate quality review released by The Leapfrog Group on May 3, SMH also maintained its straight-A safety streak, the release points out. The hospital “has earned consecutive A’s in every grading cycle since it began participating in Leapfrog’s safety survey in 2016,” the release adds. Leapfrog, “which focuses exclusively on hospitals’ prevention of medical errors” and other types of harm to patients in the facilities’ care, “releases hospital report cards in the spring and fall of each year to help patients choose the safest hospitals,” the release explains. Of the nearly 3,000 hospitals graded this spring, 29% received an A, as shown in the Leapfrog report this week.

The release adds that “Lorrie Liang, president of the SMH-Sarasota campus, applauded the efforts of the entire healthcare team for achieving the awards, crediting staff’s sustained focus on patient safety and dedication to delivering quality care.”

“Sarasota Memorial has been the Suncoast region’s safety-net hospital for almost a century, and the commitment of our hospital staff, physicians and volunteers to this community has never been greater,” Liang said in the release. “Every member of our team plays a vital role in ensuring our health system continues to provide the top quality care its known for, and these honors recognize the personal dedication and exceptional service they provide every day.”

David Verinder, president and CEO of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, “also credited the publicly elected Sarasota County Public Hospital Board and its longstanding public mission and support,” the release notes. “With more than 9,000 employees, the community-owned health system is Sarasota County’s largest employer and has been repeatedly recognized for creating a work environment and culture that fosters a team of committed, highly engaged staff,” the release points out.

“One of the aspects that makes Sarasota Memorial special is the sense of community our staff has and the pride and mutual respect they show toward one another in doing the amazing work they do,” Verinder said in the release. “We strive to create an environment where our talented team is given the support needed to deliver top notch results. I am regularly blown away by stories of our staff going above and beyond in service of our community,” he added in the release.

“Hospitals that have been open less than two years, including SMH-Venice, are not yet eligible for review or a star rating,” the release explains.

To access The Leapfrog Group’s full results, visit

To access the CMS Star Ratings, visit