SMH-Sarasota continues straight A safety streak

SMH-Venice earns A on its first Hospital Safety Report Card

Image courtesy Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

The Leapfrog Group’s 2024 Hospital Safety Report Cards released on May 1 show that both Sarasota Memorial campuses “received top marks for how well they prevent medical errors, accidents and infections,” the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System has announced.

“It is the latest in a string of straight A’s for Sarasota Memorial Health Care System’s flagship SMH-Sarasota campus, and the first report card issued to SMH-Venice, which opened in November 2021,” a news release points out. “(Hospitals must be open for two years before Leapfrog will begin assigning them safety grades),” the release explains.

“Your track record for keeping patients safe is a tremendous achievement shared by few hospitals across the country, and these accomplishments underscore your reputation as an organization focused on patient safety,” Leapfrog officials wrote in Sarasota Memorial’s notification letter.

“The letter grades are based on Leapfrog’s 2023 hospital survey data and patient safety outcomes,” along with measures obtained from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from 2020 to 2023, the release points out.

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System CEO David Verinder commended the SMH-Sarasota team for continuing the straight A streak it has held since 2016, and the SMH-Venice team for earning its first A, “despite a volley of challenges it has experienced since opening,” the release adds.

“Despite a tight labor market, supply shortages and the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian, SMH physicians and staff continue to demonstrate their resiliency and resourcefulness and a deep commitment to providing safe, high-quality care to our entire community,” Verinder said in the release.

“Sharon Roush, president of the SMH-Venice campus, was especially pleased with the A her team earned on its first Leapfrog report card,” the release notes. “The original 110-bed hospital has operated at or near full capacity since the first week it opened in November 2021,” the release says. “The hospital has been working quickly to double its inpatient capacity to 212. It opened two upper floors of a new Northeast Tower in April, adding 68 private patient suites, and another patient care floor with 34 additional private suites is scheduled to open later this year,” the release adds.

SMH-Venice opened in November 2021. Image courtesy Sarasota Memorial Health Care System

“I am so proud of the Venice team for the outstanding care they have provided to our patients and community,” Roush said in the release. “They have adapted to meet every challenge that came our way, including caring for thousands of patients impacted by the permanent closure of the ShorePoint Health Venice Hospital in the summer of 2022 and temporary closure of south Florida hospitals following Hurricane Ian.”

Further, the release notes that Sarah Lodge, chair of the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board, “said Sarasota Memorial has cared for the Suncoast community for almost a century, and the commitment of its hospital staff, physicians and volunteers to this community has never shone brighter.”

“The consistently high safety ratings our hospitals receive from the Leapfrog Group, along with many other quality awards SMH receives each year, is a reflection of the dedication and exceptional service our team provides every day,” Lodge commented for the release.

“In this spring’s grading period, Leapfrog assigned letter grades to nearly 3,000 hospitals based on how well they prevent medical errors, accidents and infections,” the release points out. Nearly 30% of hospitals earned an A; 26%, a B; 37%, a C; 7%, a D; and less than 1%, an F, the release notes. “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 explains. “The Leapfrog grading system is fully transparent, free to the public and updated biannually to help patients choose the safest hospitals for their care,” the release adds. To view the Spring 2024 results, visit

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